Ivan Perisic’s Tottenham decision shows the struggle Chelsea have in new era

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Tottenham are reportedly closing in on the signing of Chelsea target Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan. And the 33-year-old’s decision to opt for a move to Spurs shows the struggle Thomas Tuchel’s team have in their new era.

Chelsea have been regarded as one of the best teams in Europe for decades and have become accustomed to adding to their already bulging trophy cabinet with silverware and signing star players. Last season, they shelled out a British record £97.5million to take Romelu Lukaku back to the club for a second spell just months after they had won the Champions League. And they started the last campaign in fine form.

But the club’s future was thrown into jeopardy in March after their Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned in the wake of his country’s attack on Ukraine. Abramovich put the club on the market and the government told them they couldn’t buy or sell any players.

Chelsea now look set to be taken over by American Todd Boehly. And when the purchase is given the green light, they will be able to thrash out deals again. But Perisic’s snub indicates that players are now turning their noses up at the prospect of moving to Stamford Bridge. 


In years gone by, top players have turned down Spurs in favour of a move to Chelsea. The likes of Willian, Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata all had the opportunity to move to Tottenham but eventually signed for the Blues. But there now appears to be a role reversal – and Blues chiefs could be worried about the new trend.

Perisic will link up with his former Inter manager Antonio Conte at Tottenham, who are set to sign the ace for free this summer and hand him a two-year contract worth £4m a season. The Croatia international was a key player under Conte when Inter won their first Serie A title for 11 years in 2021. And he has continued to excel over the last 12 months under Simone Inzaghi.

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Conte is reportedly keen to land six players this summer, with Perisic being targeted as a key signing. And the Italian will have his transfer kitty bolstered by the £150m Tottenham received from majority shareholders Enic Sports INC this week.

Conte led Spurs to Champions League qualification last season and is set to stay in north London for the next campaign after meeting sporting director Fabio Paratici in Italy on Friday. And the Lilywhites appear to be a club heading in the right direction.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will be desperate to attract talented stars this summer to prove they are still held in high regard and have a bright future under Boehly.

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