Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti has warned Manchester United he will strongly oppose any fresh move for Ivan Perisic.
United saw a £35million offer for the Croatian rejected earlier in the window, but are yet to submit an increased bid, with Inter reportedly holding out for their £48million valuation.
There are reports in Saturday’s Paper Talk that United have been quietly pursuing a move for Gareth Bale instead – hence the delay in making an increased bid for Perisic.
Perisic has since gone on Inter’s pre-season tour of Asia, impressing in the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.
But even if United did turn their attentions back towards Perisic, it seems Spalletti says the lack of time to find a replacement would make a transfer even more difficult.
“Until now, there hasn’t been any important contact,” Spalletti said.
“There was something you already know about at the beginning of the window (but) there was no follow-up and so, for me, the topic is over.
“It’s true as time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to replace him with another player.
“I will strongly oppose the sale of Perisic if an offer comes.”
Perisic joined Inter from Wolfsburg in 2015 and enjoyed a fine second campaign in Serie A last season, contributing 11 goals and six assists.