Manchester United are very close to signing Croatian international Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan, inching closer to agreement on the final sum for the winger. The deal is expected to be closed in the next few days, and the deal will expectedly close around 48 million pounds. For Perisic’s replacement, Milan are already moving to sign Lazio’s Keita Balde, and negotiations have already begun on that front. United coach Mourinho has billed Perisic’s signing as a key step in completing his side, and the winger’s defensive capabilties and attack value in terms of crosses are seen as key. Additionally, United are still keen on a defensive midfielder, and reports suggest that Mourinho has already told his club that he wants either Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic or Eric Dier of Tottenham. United is supposed to go on a pre-season tour of United States and it was hoped that these deals would be done before that to allow the players to adjust to the United regimen and dressing room, but tranfers of only Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku are over the line and the Perisic deal still expected to take its time. The transfer window will close on August 31. “We don’t have our door closed. We are not happy with just Lukaku and Lindelof. We need more,” Mourinho said. “We wanted four, so I could say 50 percent of the job is done, but I won’t say that because it’s so difficult. I wouldn’t like to be in Ed Woodward’s position, negotiating, because everything is really difficult.”
Inter Milan have been especially unmoving for the deal, and were reportedly keen on a two-way deal with United, trading Perisic for the young French forward Anthony Martial, before opting for Lazio’s Balde. The personal terms were settled with Perisic easily but the club held out for a 48 million pound fee, and the delay is bound to frustrate Mourinho’s pre-season team building somewhat.