After all his assists in Serie A, Ivan Perisic was at the top of Jose Mourinho’s shopping list in the summer of 2017, with Manchester United’s former manager keen to sign a player who could bring out the best in new striker Romelu Lukaku.

The deal never happened though, with Mourinho confirming to the press later that he wanted him, but couldn’t give a reason to why the transfer didn’t happen. Reports at the time suggested that Ed Woodward submitted a bid that was £3m short of Inter Milan’s asking price.

Speaking to The Athletic, Perisic reveals that he was desperate to come to Old Trafford but was secretive about the reason behind the deal falling through.

How close was I going there? Very close. It was an amazing thing for me when Jose 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. 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.

Perisic signed for Bayern Munich on a year long loan this summer and the German club have the option to buy him at the end of the season. He’s scored two and assisted two in four appearances.