Ivan Perisic has opened up on his failed move to Manchester United, and admitted the experience of coming so close to sealing his Old Trafford dream only for things to fall through was ‘painful’.
The Croatian forward had been linked with United for several years, with speculation intensifying during the reign of previous manager Jose Mourinho.
Now, playing his football on loan with Bayern Munich from Inter Milan, Perisic reveals how his dream switch almost came to fruition.
‘How close was I going there (United)? Very close,’ Perisic said during a recent interview with The Athletic.
‘It was an amazing thing for me when Jose [Mourinho] called me. It was difficult to say no to him.
‘In fact, I really, really wanted to join him and play for United. It was a dream of mine to play in all the big leagues. But it didn’t happen.’
Perisic, now 30, has also hinted there were further reasons as to why his move to United never became reality.
‘It was painful for me. But I don’t want to go into the details. I only found out myself the real reasons two years later,’ he added.
Now with Bayern, Perisic has returned to the German league he knows so well. His Bundesliga journey began with Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund, and the winger insists he will always be grateful to the now Liverpool boss.
‘I wasn’t ready for it,’ he said. ‘I was not used to defending from the front. I didn’t even know that it was a two-way game.
‘Jurgen taught me modern football. I have to say thank you to him for that. We won the double in the first year but when I saw that my situation didn’t change in the second season, I wanted to leave.
‘I told him I wanted to be regular starter, and he said: ‘I respect your decision, we will find a solution,’ Perisic added.