?Manchester United may have serious competition for the signature of Ivan Perisic if Barcelona decide to move for the Inter Milan star.
La Blaugrana are currently chasing top transfer targets Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, but if the Catalan giants are rebuffed in their advances for the pair, they could opt to turn their attentions to Perisic instead.
That is according to Spanish sports journalist Alfredo Pedulla anyway, who took to his Twitter account to make the claim that Barca would duke it out with United for the 28-year-old forward if deals for Coutinho and Dembele fell through.
Barcelona have seen big offers for the Liverpool playmaker and Borussia Dortmund forward rejected by their clubs as they look for viable alternatives to Neymar, who departed in a world-record £200m deal to Paris Saint-Germain.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is keen to replace the Brazil superstar with another talented player, and had earmarked Coutinho and Dembele as the men to replace him.
However, a move for Perisic could be made by the Copa del Rey holders if they are unsuccessful in their pursuits of their number one choices – a factor could also force United’s hands if they still retain an interest in the Croatia international.
Perisic has been linked with a transfer to the Premier League heavyweights all summer long, but Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho is unwilling to match Inter’s reported £50m asking price for the winger.
Barcelona would, by contrast, be easily able to afford such a figure with Neymar’s money burning a hole in their pockets and, whilst his arrival would arguably draw less fanfare than Coutinho or Dembele, it would be a decent piece of business for the La Liga club.
Perisic has registered a not-too-shabby 26 goals and 22 assists in 112 games for I Nerazzurri, and his versatility in being able to play anywhere across the forward line would be a huge bonus to Barcelona’s tactics of playing with a fluid and dynamic attack.
Perisic is currently contracted to Inter until the summer of 2020, and the Serie A club are believed to be in the process of trying to offer him better terms to keep him at the San Siro.