Neil Humphreys: Perisic is a perfect fit for Man United
United must sign Perisic after the Croatian winger's classy show at Kallang
|BAYERN MUNICH||INTER MILAN|
|(Eder, 8, 30)|
Whatever the cost, whatever the financial ramifications, Manchester United cannot take "no" for an answer.
Like a dog with a bone, Jose Mourinho must keep gnawing away, never releasing his grip, never giving up on the chase.
Ivan Perisic could be Mourinho's missing link.
The Inter Milan winger offers the potential difference between United qualifying for the Champions League or perhaps winning the Champions League.
He's the shadow that hangs over every Luciano Spalletti interview. He's the thorn in the Inter coach's side because he is, by some distance, the best player in Inter's side.
The Italian outfit won a largely inconsequential International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich 2-0 last night, but they may yet lose Perisic.
One moment of mischief at the National Stadium offered further confirmation, if it were needed, that United need to increase their bid and sign the kind of old-school winger that Manchester used to make.
Kallang's modern arena saw a throwback to the Grand Old Dame last night, a conventional cheeky dribbler who evoked hazy memories of concrete benches, curry puffs and proper wingers.
After 30 minutes of a rather drab encounter, Perisic accelerated past his opponents at a speed rarely witnessed in a sporting contest in Singapore, unless it involves bright lights, fast cars and crash helmets.
Rafinha pursued Perisic like a dog chasing a rabbit, an entertaining but pointless exercise.
Kallang's turf hasn't really covered itself in glory, but the lumps and bumps hardly mattered to Perisic. He doesn't run. He floats.
If the Croatian winger sprinted across broken glass, he'd reach the other end without a scratch.
But the cross was the killer. On the run, he whipped an astonishing centre towards the unmarked Eder. The Italian couldn't miss.
It was the kind of cross that guarantees 25 goals a season for Romelu Lukaku and wins English Premier League titles, the kind of cross rarely witnessed at Old Trafford since Ryan Giggs and David Beckham.
Perisic's sprayed passes and infectious energy around the box were worth the price of admission on a night when others were content to go through the motions in the insufferable heat.
In all honesty, it was probably always going to be the case.
After the fun and frolics between Chelsea and Bayern Munich on Tuesday, the second International Champions League game was always going to be a bit of a damp squib.
An overly energetic mascot tried to rouse the crowd, presumably to distract from the thousands of empty seats, but he might have been more productive playing at centre back for Bayern.
The undeniable elephant in the room for these hyped exhibitions is that they'll never mean as much to the managers as they do to starry-eyed supporters.
That's why Carlo Ancelotti picked a raw kid to mark a brutish World Cup veteran.
Felix Goetze against Eder wasn't a mismatch. It was a non-match. Goetze is 19, but seems as far away from shaving as he is from the first team.
For Eder's first headed goal in the eighth minute, the Italian flicked Goetze aside as if removing dandruff from a lightweight jacket.
Eder's second header was a free one. Goetze had wandered off, perhaps to get Perisic's autograph. The Croat's run and cross really were that special.
Mats Hummels hardly covered himself in glory at centre back either, but it was that kind of weary, lethargic night for the German giants.
Their second game in 48 hours in Singapore's sweltering conditions had clearly taken its toll, with the obvious instruction being not to overly exert tired bodies.
Even Franck Ribery was removed early as a precaution, which was a tad unfortunate. He managed Bayern's only shot on target in the first half and was the standout performer.
Match fitness clearly took precedence over the match itself. The Bundesliga champions will not be so toothless when the season kicks off.
Inevitably, wearily, the second half gave way to endless substitutions, misplaced passes and scrappy play.
By then, Perisic had already done enough to ensure the mild interrogations aren't going away any time soon for Spalletti.
But Inter's coach shouldn't fear the usual questions from the media.
It's the thought of another phone call from Man United that should keep him awake at night.
- Neil Humphreys will launch his new children's book, Abbie Rose and the Magic Suitcase, at Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City, at 4pm tomorrow.
- BAYERN MUNICH: Sven Ulreich (Ron Thorben Hoffmann 69), Rafinha (Marco Friedl 46), Mats Hummels (Javi Martinez 46), David Alaba, Niklas Dorsch, Corentin Tolisso (Renato Sanches 46), Felix Goetze, Kingsley Coman, James Rodriguez (Thomas Mueller 46), Franck Ribery (Milos Pantovic 33), Robert Lewandowski (Manuel Wintzheimer 69)
- INTER MILAN: Samir Handanovic, Danilo D’Ambrosio (Cristian Ansaldi 84), Milan Skriniar (Andrea Ranocchia 90), Miranda (Jeison Murillo 84), Yuto Nagatomo (Federico Valieti 90), Geoffrey Kondogbia, Borja Valero (Roberto Gagliardini 66), Antonio Candreva (Jonathan Biabiany 65), Joao Mario (Marcelo Brozovic 77), Ivan Perisic (Andrea Pinamonti 84), Eder (Gabriel Barbosa 50)