We have been linked with him for a while but the Italian press, in the shape of Gazzetta dello Sport, have mentioned us again as being interested in acquiring the services of 28-year-old (29 next February) Croatian international winger Ivan Perišić.
The first thing to say is he doesn't fit our age criteria so you then have to decide whether he is 'special' or not to determine whether news of our interest is genuine. It is said we have spoken to his club Inter, but let's face it, we have been linked with all sorts of their players so if we have spoken to the Italian club it could have been about any number of players.
Since the last transfer window closed in January we have been told we are trying to buy captain and 24-year-old (25 next February) Argentinian striker Mauro Icardi (rumoured to be close to signing a new contract), 24-year-old (25 next February) French international defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, 24-year-old (25 in November) Croatian central box-to-box midfielder Marcelo Brozović and 24-year-old (25 in May) Colombian centre-back Jeison Murillo.
Stop and ask yourself why we are linked with so many of their players. They are a mid-table Italian team who sit in 7th place currently, behind leader Juventus on 80pts, Roma on 72pts, Napoli on 70pts, Lazio on 61pts, Atalanta on 60pts, rivals and stadium sharers AC Milan on 58pts, Inter have 56pts.
They are 24 points off top spot and if you compare that to the Premier League Everton are 18 points behind Chelsea in 7th, WBA are 31 points behind in 8th place. How many of the Everton players would you want to buy?
Inter, like AC Milan, were the subject of takeovers from Chinese sources last summer. I haven't looked to see if the takeover of Inter is complete yet, but the owners are listed as Suning Holdings Group (68.55%), International Sports Capital HK Limited (31.05%), Pirelli (0.37%), Other shareholders (0.03%) on Wikipedia, so I guess it has.
The Sunning Group want to raise capital for transfers and have identified certain players who could bring in some cash. Marcelo Brozović is one of those so as a club who might need a young midfielder we get mentioned a lot.
We have no doubt asked them to keep us informed about te situation of several players and be notified should they become available or if other clubs place a bid. We can then decide if we want to make a move for the player or not and a lot of that will depend upon timing, have we sold the players we want to sell in order to create the gap for him in the squad, we don't want to be paying two lots of wages needlessly during the offseason.
The suggestion from Gazzetta dello Sport is that Manchester United have been linked with a £50.14 million (€60m - AUS$85.75m - US$64.39m) move for Perišić, which doesn't tie in with previous reports that Inter wants to raise around 70-80 million euros from the sale of three players. At that valuation, Perišić is way overpriced.
How many Everton players would you pay £50 million for? John Stones was sold for £50 million, he came at a premium because he is home grown and has, thus far, shown he wasn't worth it.
Players value plummets from the age of 30 as they have few years left in the game so to buy a 28-year-old with only a couple of season left before his value sinks doesn't fit with our business strategy or our transfer strategy.
We like to seek players, as everyone does, who have a year left on their contract as it reduces their fee so when you buy them on a longer contract they are immediately worth more, Perišić has a contract until 2020.
Very little in this story makes any sense and I don't see it happening, not even at a third of the suggested fee.
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