Tottenham have completed the signing of Ivan Perisic on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old, who can play as a full-back and a forward, has signed a two-year contract to become one of Antonio Conte’s first signings of the summer transfer window.
Perisic, who has 113 caps for Croatia and scored in the 2018 World Cup final, had been at Inter since 2015. He won Serie A last season under the head coach of Tottenham Conte after spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich where he lifted the Champions League.
“When I got in touch with the coach and the sporting director, I told them that I really wanted to come to the Premier League since 2009, when I started playing professional football in Belgium,” Perisic said on the Spurs official website.
“It’s a privilege to work with a coach like Antonio. It was a perfect year at Inter, I’m very happy to see him again. He lives football every minute, every hour and every day, even when he sleeps, he thinks about it.
“I was watching the last two or three games and after the win against Arsenal it was obvious that Tottenham would reach the Champions League, and that was good for me because I want to play in the biggest games.
Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta admits he was keen to keep Perisic this summer but failed to convince him to extend his stay at Milan.
“There are regrets,” Marotta said on Monday. “But he wanted to try a new experience in the Premier League.
“We weren’t able to make better offers, just his choice was based on a different future than the current one. Maximum respect for that and big thanks to him as well.”
Despite speculation surrounding his future with Spurs, Conte is preparing for next season at the club after talks with chief football officer Fabio Paratici on Friday.
Conte has been told the club are aiming to sign at least six or seven players, as Spurs look to back the Italian in the transfer market.
Spurs are targeting several areas, with goalkeeper, centre-back, wing-back, central midfielder and striker among the positions they plan to strengthen. Conte deployed Perisic at left-back during his time at Inter after bringing him back into the fold.
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster has agreed to sign for Spurs when his contract at Southampton expires and has already completed his medicals.
Why are Spurs signing Perisic?
Sky Sports News Deputy Editor Lyall Thomas:
“It’s not often that Tottenham invest in players over 30, let alone 33 – but on a free transfer, this one makes sense.
“First of all, he’s someone Antonio Conte wants, having previously worked with him at Inter Milan, so he’s a great way to show support for the manager early in the window.
“But from a football perspective it makes even more sense. Perisic is experienced, at the top of the game. He’s a winner. He won the Champions League with Bayern Munich and the Serie A title under Conte. in 2021.
“He’s also still at the top of his game, despite his age, and can offer a threat from a variety of positions. Conte converted him into a left-back in his title-winning side, but he can also provide cover and play. competition for Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski in the forward positions.
“Conte wants to add experienced heads to his squad to ensure Tottenham competes on all fronts next season and Perisic will bring that in abundance.”
‘Spurs are clearly supporting Conte this summer’
Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour:
“Following the announcement that Tottenham have invested £150m of equity in the club, the club are clearly backing Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.
“They will be targeting several positions including goalkeeper, centre-back, wing-back, central midfielder and a striker. Up to six or seven players could arrive. They will have to find the right balance with local players. There currently has an imbalance in this area.
“Conte wants more depth in the squad, and he also wants to add experienced players, a change from recent times when Spurs have been targeting younger players.
“Some members of the club believe it is inaccurate not to have spent in the past, but it is recognized that they have not always been successful in signing.
“Fabio Paratici can’t hurt the club right now. The additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have given the belief that they are finally succeeding in this area.
“Extensive homework is ongoing on the ability and character of the players. Spurs recently rejected the possibility of signing a talented Premier League player because their research revealed concerns he could be a disruptive influence. “
Neville: Conte did a brilliant job
sky sports Pundit Gary Neville has praised head coach Conte for delivering Champions League football to Tottenham next season.
speaking on The Gary Neville Podcastthe former Manchester United defender said: “We were at the North London derby 10 days ago and even if Arsenal had beaten Newcastle I still think Antonio Conte would have stayed because of what he went through that night. Where are you going to get that competitive element, those vibes in Europe right now?
“He did a brilliant job at Tottenham, he was helped by Manchester United’s surrender and the fall of Arsenal but he did a good job and was still going for it. I’m very clear he’s not the good manager for Manchester United but you can say someone is not the right manager for your club but he is still a great manager.
“The others have Tuchel, Conte, Klopp and Guardiola – they’re animals, they win trophies all the time. They stand on the touchline and can almost eat you alive with their presence and aura. The others have a long way to go.”
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