Man Utd chief Ed Woodward may spark Jose Mourinho transfer fury by signing one player

Ivan Perisic to Manchester United may be back on. The Croatia international was wanted by Jose Mourinho during the Tottenham boss’ spell at Old Trafford, only for Ed Woodward to twice fail to land the forward. And, now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may sign the forward instead – in a move that would surely irk Mourinho.

Back in the summer of 2017, Mourinho wanted to go big.

Having guided Manchester United to the EFL Cup and Europa League titles, he was eyeing two big signings to help the club close the gap on Manchester City.

One player he wanted, and thought he’d get, was Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman wanted to leave Atletico Madrid for Old Trafford to link up with Paul Pogba, his close friend.

That didn’t happen, however. With Atletico being slapped with a transfer ban, the current Barcelona star opted to stay put out of loyalty.

And the second player Mourinho wanted was Perisic.

He had seen the winger thrive at Inter Milan, becoming a player capable of shining at both ends of the pitch due to his tenacious work-rate, and believed he’d be the perfect fit for his Old Trafford project.


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Mourinho instructed Woodward to get the deal done. In his eyes, Perisic’s crossing ability would also benefit new signing Romelu Lukaku.

However, the United chief’s tough negotiating stance ultimately made a deal impossible.

Inter wanted £48m for the Croatia international believing that, given his importance at the San Siro, they were entitled to demand big money.

But Woodward refused to pay it. Instead, offers of both £39m and £43m were rejected and Inter ended up retaining the player.

Undeterred, Mourinho tried again a year later.


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He felt he’d earned the right to whoever he wanted after steering United to second in the Premier League table – their best position since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

This time, though, he wanted to sacrifice Anthony Martial.

Mourinho was prepared to let Martial leave Old Trafford, believing him to be mentally weak and not up to the task of propelling United to silverware.

Woodward, working on the orders of United co-owner Joel Glazer, said no.

In Glazer’s eyes, Martial is the club’s own version of Brazil icon Pele. And, consequently, Woodward was told he had to keep the France international at the club.

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He relayed this to Mourinho, who fumed. He was denied a player he thought was pivotal to his project and, when he was sacked in December 2018, he had a right to feel aggrieved.

And, now, the Tottenham boss would surely be angry should United finally land Perisic.

Reports have suggested the Red Devils have enquired about the player in negotiations with Inter for Alexis Sanchez, who they want to hang around.

Perisic has struggled on loan at Bayern Munich this term but, nonetheless, Mourinho may feel frustrated.

And whether United ultimately bring the forward to Old Trafford, after all these years, is something only time will tell. 

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