Tottenham Hotspur star Ivan Perisic has revealed that he was ‘very close’ to moving to Arsenal and Manchester United on occasions in the past.
Perisic has switched his allegiance to Tottenham this summer, having left Inter Milan on a free transfer (BBC) and made his Premier League debut yesterday for the north Londoners, coming off the bench during the second half of the 4-1 win against Southampton, replacing the impressive Ryan Sessegnon.
Perisic has shared that he was close to moving to United in 2017 and the Gunners in 2019. The wide-man mentioned how he could have joined other Premier League clubs as well, but is now focused on his career with Antonio Conte’s side.
Perisic told Stadium Astro’s YouTube channel: “I’m so excited to be in the Premier League. I wanted to come to the Premier League so many years ago, but always something happened. Can’t wait to start. I was close to coming, very close [to coming before].”
“With Manchester United in 2017, and then Arsenal in 2019. A lot of other clubs too, but always something happened in the last moment. But okay, we don’t look at the past. I just want to focus and do my best with Tottenham.”
Perisic’s revelation certainly would come as a surprise, and it would also make up for a tasty fixture when Spurs face off against their two direct rivals. Jose Mourinho was the manager back in 2017 at Old Trafford, while it could have been either Unai Emery or Mikel Arteta, depending on when his proposed move to Emirates was on the cards in 2019.
Even if Perisic wanted to join the Red Devils or our bitter rivals in the past, the circumstances are a lot different at this moment. The 33-year-old would still perform to his best when he comes up against them, as is the case with every professional footballer.
The former Inter star played a key role in helping Conte to succeed at Giuseppe Meazza and was arguably one of the best performers for the Nerazzurri last term. Despite him being in the twilight of his playing career, Perisic has shown no signs of slowing down so far.
That is evident from Conte’s recent presser as he claimed how Perisic shortened his recovery time for the calf injury the Croatian suffered in the previous campaign. The fans would hope that he can now help the boss to end their trophy drought while also playing a major impact in the future by nurturing Ryan Sessegnon to become a top-notch wing-back.