Everton plot free summer raid for winger, player wants to leave current club

Ivan Perisic. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)Ivan Perisic. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Ivan Perisic. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Could the Toffees be in line to land a bargain?

Ivan Perisic has reiterated his intention to leave Inter Milan next summer amid ongoing reports of Everton’s interest in the winger.

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport, the Croatian has made it clear to San Siro chiefs that he would like to end his seven-year stint with I Nerazzurri when his contract expires at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

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And that could open the door for the Toffees to make a move for the 32-year-old. L’Interista reported last week that Rafa Benitez is eager to bring the experienced wide man to Goodison Park on a free transfer.

Everton aren’t the only club credited with an interest, however, with both AC Milan and Roma – now managed by Perisic’s former boss Jose Mourinho, of course – also said to be in the running for his signature.

Who is Ivan Perisic?

The Croatian winger has slowly but surely accrued a reputation as one of the most solidly impressive wide men in European football.

Perisic's first big move came in 2011 when he signed for Borussia Dortmund, but since then, he has played for a smattering of the continent’s most illustrious clubs.

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Subsequent spells at Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, and Inter Milan have cemented his position as one of the brightest stars in the global game, as has a celebrated career with his national side.

Perisic has wracked up 111 caps for Croatia, scoring 32 goals in the process, and was part of the team that lost to France in the 2018 World Cup final.

How likely are Everton to seal the deal?

On the face of it, they have a chance.

Aside from the fact that Perisic will be available on a free, the player has come very close to moving to the Premier League before, with a 2017 move to Manchester United collapsing at the eleventh hour. Evidently, there is some desire to play in England on his part, but it remains to be seen if the Toffees represent enough of a lure to secure his services.

There are other issues too. For one thing, AC Milan and Roma are likely to provide considerable opposition, but perhaps more pertinently, the Blues’ own financial restrictions could prove to be a significant stumbling block.

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As previously discussed by LiverpoolWorld’s own Will Rooney, Perisic’s wages would be sizeable, and Everton need to slash their wage bill rather than continue bringing in the type of player who have left the club hamstrung by financial fair play rules in the past.

Ultimately, that be the biggest hurdle the Toffees need to clear.

What are fans saying?

It’s safe to say that the Goodison faithful aren’t exactly thrilled by the prospect of Perisic arriving on Merseyside.

@joshwilbert1 tweeted: “It would be a hard pass for me.”

@amir_nazir1 tweeted: “Finished player.”

@mikeefc1878 tweeted: “Only signings we will be getting is loans and that’s being lucky! We are in massive problems with FFP and one of the reasons why our season tickets prices will be going up next season”.