Exclusive: Tottenham on verge of beating Chelsea to “smart” signing “this week”

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Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on a transfer move for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, who was also wanted by Chelsea, Fabrizio Romano has revealed in his upcoming CaughtOffside column.

Spurs have taken advantage of Chelsea’s issues with sanctions to move ahead of them in the race for the experienced Croatia international, who also turned down the offer of a new contract to stay at Inter, Romano says.

Perisic has had a fine career in Serie A and will be a player Antonio Conte knows well from his time at the San Siro, so a reunion looks a good move for all involved.

The 33-year-old is a free agent this summer, and Romano has praised this “smart” piece of business by Tottenham as he expects a deal to be done this week.

“Tottenham had been working for two weeks to give Antonio Conte what he wanted: Ivan Perisic,” Romano writes. “Chelsea have been in the race since January because Thomas Tuchel is a big fan of Perisic, but they couldn’t make a proposal in time due to the sanctions.

Ivan Perisic is on his way to Tottenham

“Tottenham acted with smart strategy and the proposal was accepted on Friday evening. Perisic had an offer from Inter to extend his contract until June 2024, but his dream was the Premier League and so he will sign this week with Tottenham.”

Perisic looks like he could be a good addition to give Spurs more options out wide, which should benefit Harry Kane in the middle as he can have a better quality of delivery from crosses to work with.

Chelsea fans will no doubt be disappointed that they couldn’t bring in an upgrade on struggling performers like Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, but it will be interesting to see what alternatives the Blues might have in mind.

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