Reports: Chelsea to make move to sign Manchester United target Ivan Perisic
What's the story?
Chelsea have begun their English Premier League title defence in dismal fashion. The Blues were dismantled 2-3 by Burnley, at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Antonio Conte's side ended the game with just nine men, after Cahill and Fabregas were sent off.
The defeat has added to Conte's frustration over Chelsea's lack of transfer business this summer, with players like Azpilicueta publicly criticizing the club, demanding more signings.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have purchased Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger this summer but are now reportedly plotting a move to steal Ivan Perisic from under Manchester United's noses, as per reports in The Sun.
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Manchester United have relentlessly pursued the Croatian winger all summer, but to no avail. Jose Mourinho had admitted that his side were in the hunt for a wide attacking player and Perisic was widely believed to be their top target.
However, the Red Devils have been seemingly unable to finalize a deal with Inter Milan, with the winger's £48 million price tag turning out to be an obstacle. Manchester United have allegedly cooled their interest in the winger after their £35 million bid was rejected by the Serie A side.
The heart of the matter
Conte will look to bolster his side after their lacklustre performance over the weekend.
The Chelsea chief is understood to have been impressed by Perisic's pre-season performance against the Blues in Singapore and could look to make the most of Manchester United's reluctance to make a move.
Conte will undoubtedly be bitter over losing Lukaku to Jose Mourinho after the former was unable to land his top transfer target. Now, the Italian will look to exact revenge on the Red Devils by signing their top target in return.
With Eden Hazard ruled out for nearly two months, Chelsea will be desperate to sign someone capable of temporarily filling in the Belgian's shoes, with Perisic's flexibility making him a contender.
It is believed that Chelsea's ploy could prompt Mourinho's United side to make another move for the winger in a last ditch attempt to lure him to Old Trafford.
Despite Inter Milan publicly claiming that the winger is staying in Italy, both the English clubs are still keen on pushing a deal through, although it could require a significant purse.
Perisic has grabbed plenty of attention this summer after being linked with a move to Old Trafford. The 28-year-old also greatly impressed in the pre-season games for Inter Milan, displaying immense versatility and maturity.
The Croatian would be a wonderful addition to either side and could ultimately be the deciding factor in which way the title could go at the end of the season.