Ivan Perisic has been a Manchester United transfer target since last summer, when Jose Mourinho claimed he needed four players to strengthen his squad.
The Red Devils boss got three – Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic – but failed to land the Inter Milan attacker.
The two clubs failed to agree a deal for the Croatian, but that doesn’t mean United have dropped their interest in him completely.
Our friends at Football Whispers look at whether it’s time to move on thanks to Jesse Lingard’s inspired form for Mourinho’s side, or if they should still target the 28-year-old.
Perisic has showed this season why he was on United’s radar.
He’s been a key part of Inter’s title challenge with the Nerazzurri sitting third in Serie A, seven points off league leaders Napoli.
Only Mauro Icardi (17) has scored more than Perisic’s seven in the league for Inter this season.
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It’s not just in finding the back of the net that he’s impressed though.
He’s also provided six assists for his team-mates – only Antonio Candreva’s got more (eight) for Luciano Spalletti’s men.
After his move to Old Trafford fell through in the summer, he signed a new five-year deal at Inter. It looked like he had committed himself to the club for the long term.
Indeed, speaking last month, the Croatian claimed it was his boss that convinced him to stay at the San Siro.
He said: “Spalletti told us that every player is important and we got proof of that in the win, as even those who haven’t had as much space made their mark.
“Spalletti was extremely important in convincing me to stay.”
But Gazzetta dello Sport claim he had a release clause of £54million written in to the contract which can be activated at the end of the season.
With Inter challenging Juventus and Napoli for the title, a January moved would not be welcome. But if he is to leave he could command an even higher than that release clause.
But will United be willing to pay that much money, given Lingard’s rise to prominence this season?
Like Perisic, the Englishman has seven league goals this season, although he does have fewer assists, with four.
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However, he’s played nearly 800 fewer minutes in the league, having only made his second league start of the season in November.
That reduced game time means that Lingard has been directly involved in a league goal every 84 minutes so far this season, compared to the Croatian’s 131 minutes.
Rather than splashing out on a 28-year-old, Manchester United would be wiser keeping Lingard in the first team as he thrives under Mourinho.
“Each day you are learning and you can see from the manager about game-management and what he wants you to do on the pitch,” he said in the summer.
“Doing things in the right areas, that’s very key.”
And with his impressive record of being directly involved in a goal so often – the same so far as Raheem Sterling, whose performances have been hailed in Manchester City’s title charge – it is time for United to back him.
A move for Perisic – whether now or in the summer – would be a real blow to Lingard, who would rightly wonder what more he has to do at United to earn a regular first-team berth.
But Inter’s reluctant to sell could work in the United No14’s favour.
If he carries on the form he’s showing, there would be no need for Mourinho to continue chasing Perisic.
What’s more, at 28, the Inter man is three years older, so a consistent Lingard would be a better long-term solution.
He’s got his head down and is focused and that’s rubbing off on his game.
“It is always good vibes when you are younger,” he told Sky Sports at the start of the season.
“When you get older you realise it is all about winning games and winning trophies.”
If he carries on in the form he’s in – only Harry Kane has scored more Premier League goals since December – United could have their next homegrown superstar on their books.