Bayern’s search for an additional attacker is over with the announcement that Ivan Perišić has signed on a one-year loan deal from Inter Milan. The Croat may not have been the first (or even second?) choice, but the Bavarians may have found the perfect solution by default.
Bayern made no secret on their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, but when the German winger hobbled off during the English Community Shield, doubts began to surface. Those doubts burst out of the water when it was revealed Sane had actually suffered a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament.
The former Schalke man was suddenly a no-go for Bayern and with the clock ticking down to the start of the Bundesliga season, they were going to have to look elsewhere. Timo Werner was said to be under consideration with the German striker holding back on signing a contract extension at Leipzig.
Other names in the frame included Ajax attacker Hakim Ziyech, PSV Eindhoven’s Steven Bergwijn and Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho. The name actually on the contract signed this week was however that of Ivan Perišić.
Perišić may not have been the first-choice, but on balance it looks like a very shrewd piece of business from Bayern. He arrives initially on a season-long loan with a reported fee of €5 million being paid to Inter. Bayern have the option to buy at the end of the season with a further €20 million due to the Italians, with whom Perišić has a contract through to 2022.
There are a number of reasons the Croatian attacker is wise move.
The cost is a big plus for Bayern (even though the Bavarians aren’t short of a Euro or two). Leroy Sane was going to cost something in the region of €100 million, so Perišić keeps the coffers full, while bringing in a player of genuine quality.
The 30-year-old won’t need a long period to adapt and bed in at Bayern. He has plenty of Bundesliga experience after spells at VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund. He knows the Bundesliga and will be ready to go straight from the off. Except he won’t be, as a ban carried over from last seasons Serie A will rule him out of Bayern’s Bundesliga opener against Hertha Berlin on Friday.
He will also have no trouble adapting to his new coach as he is very familiar with Niko Kovac from his time as the coach of the Croatian national side.
A third advantage over somebody like Steven Bergwijn for example, is the experience he brings on the international stage. Bayern may have already signed two World Cup winners in Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, but Perišić was a World Cup finalist, who scored in the final to add to his two goals earlier in the tournament.
“Ivan will help us from the start with his extensive experience at a top international level,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. “He has good technique and he’s flexible in attack. I’m sure Ivan will settle in quickly as he knows both the Bundesliga and our coach Niko Kovac well.”
The player himself also believes the decision is the best one. “I’m very glad to be back in Germany. FC Bayern are one of the biggest clubs in Europe. We want to go on the attack, not only in the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup, but also in the Champions League.”
So Bayern’s Plan B (or was it C?) may well prove the best option after all.
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