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Reports: Barcelona set to hijack Manchester United's bid for £48m rated midfielder

Harsh Biyani
28.98K   //    12 Aug 2017, 12:56 IST

FC Barcelona v Chapecoense - Joan Gamper Trophy
Ernesto Valverde eyes Perisic as an alternative to Coutinho

What's the story?

Barcelona are desperately trying to find a replacement for Neymar, who left for Paris Saint-German, before the transfer window shuts.

They have been linked to a couple of players - the latest being Ivan Perisic. According to the Express, the Catalans are now eyeing Perisic if they fail to land their number one target - Philippe Coutinho.

Inter are holding out for £48m, a sum Barcelona can easily afford after the world-record sale of Neymar.

In case you didn't know...

Manchester United have been linked with the Inter winger since the start of the summer. Jose Mourinho has also publicly stated that he wants a winger before the end of the summer transfer window and has identified Perisic as the ideal target.

It was thought that the deal was closed as nothing concrete had happened over the past couple of weeks. However, reports suggest that Manchester United officials met with the winger's agent yesterday to secure a move to the Old Trafford.

Barcelona are trying to secure a deal for Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele. But both their clubs have insisted that they are not for sale.

The heart of the matter

Jose Mourinho had stated that he wants 4 players in this transfer window and the he has already secured 3 of them - Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic.

After United beat Sampdoria, Mourinho said, "As I told a few months ago, I was hoping for 4 players to improve the squad. And the club did a fantastic job by getting 3 of them. I would be happier if they gave me 4 of 4 but they did a great effort for me."

Barcelona are now believed to be in the race to sign the Inter winger. Their number one target still remains Coutinho. Liverpool, yesterday, released a statement that Coutinho is not for sale and will remain with the club.

However, after an hour or so, Coutinho handed in a transfer request. It will still be difficult for the Spanish giants to get their man, though they will do their best to get the Brazilian.

What's next?

With Barcelona joining the race, it will be even more difficult for the Red Devils to get Perisic. This news comes as a huge blow to United.

Manchester United will have to act quickly if they want land their target or lose him to Barcelona.

The Catalans' sudden interest in the player has made things more difficult for the Red Devils.

Author's take

It will interesting to see if United get the player amidst Barcelona's interest. It won't be easy. The Blaugrana are yet to sign Neymar's replacement and need to make sure they rope in a quality player as soon as possible so that he settles in and can hit the ground running.

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Harsh Biyani
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