By Mark Weasley
The talk all summer at Manchester United has been centred on the signings of Romelu Lukaku and Ivan Perisic. Whereas the Lukaku deal is over the line, speculations continue to mount about the interest in Perisic.
The 28-year-old is wanted by Jose Mourinho to add more directness and bite to his attack, but negotiations between Inter and United have failed to materialise as the Italian giants are looking at a fee closer to £48 million, but The Red Devils only want to part with around £40m. The Inter Milan winger is highly regarded by the Portuguese tactician but do United really need Perisic?
Age and resale value
Perisic is 28, and will clock 29 by early next year. For United to spend £48m on a player with no recognisable Champions League pedigree is somewhat baffling. His resale value is potentially not up to his transfer price, meaning that if he gets encumbered with a nasty injury or loss of form later on in his Old Trafford career, the prospects of the club to make a profit or close to what we bought him will arise.
If he offers United three more years at the highest level before declining at probably 32, for that price, it isn’t smart money.
The case of youth
Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are all 24 and below and have massive potential. Signing Perisic will mean that one of these three will probably leave the club, but at their ages and potential, it would be stupid to let anyone go.
Perisic will hamper their progress given that they will play less, and they could leave just like Pogba did to Juventus. Re-signing them will be huge, as United learned with Pogba, while the player may outrightly reject a move, as he will feel the club didn’t need him enough to aid his development, a crucial case Chelsea learnt recently with Lukaku.
Options in Attack
United certainly are not lightweight in the attacking midfield department. We currently boast of the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Rashford, Lingard and Martial in that department and only three or two can be accommodated per match. Signing Perisic for big money will mean that one of these players may become disgruntled and angle for moves away, which won’t bode well for team unity and harmony.
For a team looking to compete on all fronts going into next season, it will be a big task to expect Perisic to do wonders. The Premier League is difficult and any player coming into the country for the first time needs time to adapt, and it is too much of a gamble to sign Perisic based on the aforementioned factors.