Antonio Conte has hailed the “determination”, “enthusiasm” and “desire” of Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, in a blow to Manchester United’s hopes of signing him.
Thursday’s European papers listed Man Utd as the favourites to sign Perisic before the end of the transfer window.
The Croatian winger spent last season out on loan at Bayern Munich, where he became a Champions League, DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga winner.
However, Bayern turned down the opportunity to sign him on a permanent basis, leading to rumours he could be on the move again.
PSG were also said to have made contact with the 2018 World Cup finalist, who had also been linked with Leeds and Tottenham earlier in the summer.
But despite claims that Perisic doesn’t fit into Conte’s system, the Inter boss has now hinted that he would be happy to keep the 31-year-old.
“I am happy for Ivan, because in the end he had an incredible experience with Bayern Munich, a winning one, in which he won three trophies,” he said.
“Now he’s back, with great determination to play for Inter and help us out, to put himself at the service of the team, and I am happy that he’s got this desire.
“Also, because when you’ve got this kind of determination, this enthusiasm, this desire, in the end everything gets easier for the coach.”
MAN UTD MISS OUT ON SANCHO ALTERNATIVE
Perisic is a long-term target for United, having come very close to joining them in 2017 before the clubs involved failed to agree a fee.
Now, he represents an alternative to their main priority, Jadon Sancho – whose own price tag continues to be a stumbling block for the Red Devils.
Reports this week suggested that United were ready to make a final take-it-or-leave-it offer to Dortmund for the England winger.