In Brief

Man United may have to offload Martial to land Ivan Perisic

Deal for Inter Milan midfielder is still not finalised and Red Devils are unwilling to sacrifice forward

Man United's hopes of signing Ivan Perisic may be hanging in the balance after they were told to up their offer or include Anthony Martial as part of any deal

Inter Milan are playing hard ball, says The Independent and have ordered United to pay £48m for Perisic or at least offer a player in return. But United don’t want to let Martial go and the player is not keen on leaving Old Trafford.

The France star’s cousin yesterday revealed Inter were interested in signing Martial. It is believed United are open to the idea of using Matteo Darmian in a player plus cash deal for Perisic – but rate Martial too highly to let him go.

The striker joined United in a £36m deal, which could still rise to £58m, from Monaco in September 2015 while he was just 19. He lost his place as a regular starter last term but still scored eight goals in all competitions for United playing predominantly as a winger.

United have become increasingly frustrated in their pursuit of Perisic and boss Jose Mourinho has said he will not pay over the odds for players.

But they may have to pay, says the Daily Star, which has a slightly different take on Inter’s stance. 

It says the Red Devils have been in talks with the Italian giants over a deal for the Croatian international since the end of last season, and it claims Serie A giants will only accept cash

Perisic is under contract for another three years after this summer, explains the paper. So Inter are under no pressure to accept offers that they regard as too low.

Man United land Perisic and prepare for war with Liverpool

18 July

Manchester United are closing in on their third signing of the summer having finally agreed a deal to land Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan.

The Sun reports the fee will be £40m for the 28-year-old Croatian winger who will join United’s pre-season tour to America where he will complete the deal.

It has been a long-running saga, with Inter refusing to let Perisic go on the cheap, but now the deal looks close to being finalised. Inter seem happier to let him go after closing on a loan deal for Lazio star Keita Balde following a loan enquiry for Anthony Martial that came to nothing.

Boss Jose Mourinho has already landed Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Benfica defender Victor Lindelof as United rebuild for the new season. And after adding Perisic to the list, it seems he is ready to battle with bitter rivals Liverpool to sign Naby Keita.

Liverpool have been trying to secure the Guinea international’s signature for several weeks and have had several bids turned down by RB Leipzig.

The Daily Star, citing Football Whispers as its source, says the German club are prepared to do business despite stating publicly that the 22-year central midfielder is not for sale. That has alerted several clubs, including United, who no doubt would love to get one over on their old enemy.

United’s interest in Keita will be sharpened because their attempts to sign Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic could be about to hit the buffers.

The Sun, citing Corriere dello Sport as its source, says Matic has agreed a move to Juventus instead which is dependent on Chelsea lowering their £40m asking price.

Matic looked destined for Old Trafford earlier this month but there is a lot of bad blood between the clubs after United’s late move for Lukaku from under the noses of Blues.

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