14 years after, Perisic realises England’s dream

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Croatian Ivan Perisic has formally signed a two-year deal with Tottenham to reunite with coach Antonio Conte, who both were in sync at Inter Milan.

The 113 capped Croatia international, who scored in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, brought eight year’s spell with the Nerrazuri to an end after rejecting a contract extension offered by Inter Milan chief executive, Giuseppe Marotta.

Perisic, 33, had worked with Conte last season when he won the Scudetto sequel to winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich while processing a loan spell in Germany.
However, the player, having won the Italian Supercoppa, is prepared for the new challenges ahead in Tottenham, who he admitted was more favoured to qualify for top-four after defeating fellow contender, Arsenal, in the North London derby.

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The winger, putting pen to paper, divulged he has always fancied a move to England since 2009 when he became a professional with KSV Roeselare, Belgium.

“When I got in contact with the coach and the sporting director, I told them I had really wanted to come to the Premier League since 2009 when I started playing professional football in Belgium,” Perisic told Spurs’ official website.

“It’s a privilege to work with a coach like Antonio. It was a perfect year at Inter, I am very pleased to see him again. He lives football every minute, every hour and every day, even when he’s sleeping he’s thinking about it.
“I was watching the last two or three games and, after the win against Arsenal, it was obvious Tottenham would reach the Champions League, and it was good for me because I want to play in the biggest games,” Perisic added.

Meanwhile, Marotta has lamented over the club’s inability to convince the player to extend his deal with the club.
In a statement, Inter CEO stressed that the club could not go beyond their financial limit to persuade the Croatian longing to seek a new exploit in England.

“There is regret but he wanted to try a new experience in the Premier League,” he said.
“We were not in a position to make better offers, simply his choice was based on a different future than the current one. Maximum respect for that and a big thank you to him as well,” Marotta added.

The Trumpet reports that the Croatian scored a total of 49 goals in 208 appearances during his eight years spell at Inter Milan. He also had a stint with Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg where he scored 9 and 42 times respectively.

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