Manchester United Offered A Risky Swap Deal For Prime Target: Should Jose Sanction This Deal?

The Manchester United boss has reportedly requested at least two more additions to his squad and is hot on the heels of Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic. The Manchester outfit has already been rebuffed twice, after starting the bidding with a £35m offer followed by a £39.5m offer. Already having splashed the cash to the tune of at least £110m, Mourinho is set to persuade the United management to go in with an increased bid in the region of 55 million Euros, closer to Inter’s valuation of the player.

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti is reluctant to lose the 28-year-old Croatian who in his opinion is fantastic.

Inter adviser Walter Sabatini said: “Spalletti has asked not to sell Perisic. He wants Perisic as one of his players because he is fantastic.

“Inter wouldn’t like to sell him but at the same time, the club doesn’t want to have an unhappy player.

“One thing is certain – the price of our players will be set by Inter Milan. We hope Perisic will stay but we will know more in the next day.

“If Perisic will leave, we want money and a player and we expect Perisic over these next days will show good behaviour.”

United are not averse to splashing the cash in transfer windows as is evident from the massive £587.6 million spent since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, a figure that is more than the sum of money spent during the Scot’s 27-year tenure. But the last bit about a player swap along with extra cash has the United board worried as the player in concern being asked for as a makeweight to the Perisic deal is none other than Anthony Martial.

Anthony Martial’s £36m transfer, rising to potentially £58m, from AS Monaco, back in 2015 had raised quite a few eyebrows. The hefty fee for a teenager, unproven at the Premier League level didn’t find many backers. But the forward, equally at ease as a wide attacking midfielder, coming off the back of a superb season in Ligue 1, touted to be the next Thierry Henry was undeterred, scoring on his United debut and silencing the critics with aplomb.

Since then, United’s downward spiral has coincided with the Frenchman’s; the 21-year-old failing to hold down a place in the first team under Mourinho. Should the Perisic deal go through, it could relegate him further down the pecking order in positions already occupied by the likes of Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford.

Martial drew flak last season for his inconsistent displays in the Manchester United shirt. Deployed mostly as a wide player, the 54-year-old Portuguese manager sounded exasperated with Martial’s profligate ways. Mourinho publicly criticised the player in continuation of a stratagem that he used also against the likes of Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling inter alia, said, “You have one opportunity, you have two, you have three – if you don’t bite then somebody comes and takes the bait.”

Mourinho’s tough love approach didn’t help the player to the extent of claiming his spot on the United first eleven and it may not be the worst idea to send Martial the other way, on a season-long loan deal, should the Perisic deal go through.

The Frenchman, all of 21 years, could do with a little more game time under his belt than what was on offer at United last season, and the prospect of competing against a minimum of five players in Mourinho’s three-man midfield could burden him with unnecessary pressure. But the move could be considered controversial and may be misinterpreted by the player and fans alike as a demotion of sorts. Not that Mourinho has ever cared for petty sentiments, but reports are emerging that the Portuguese has vetoed any such move for the 21-year-old, owing to the fact that, despite his inconsistencies, the player has immense potential, and the United boss may be of the view that Martial would be better served at Old Trafford than elsewhere.

United are open to including Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling, as part of the deal according to the Mirror.

It remains to be seen if Martial can stake a claim in Mourinho’s already cluttered midfield in the upcoming season. The Portuguese wouldn’t be fretting much though. A problem of plenty always suited the man more than the other way round.

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Soham Dwibedi

Lives, breathes and dreams football. To reiterate the words of Bill Shankly, "some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

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