Jose Mourinho heaps praise on Croatia World Cup hero Ivan Perisic

Ian MacNicol  GettyImages

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insisted England have a reason to be optimistic following their semi-final loss to Croatia in extra-time.

Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic was in fantastic form for Croatia in their 2-1 win over England in their semi-final clash on Wednesday, during which he scored a goal and provided the assist for the extra-time victor.

"Perisic is the kind of winger that is different to the others". "Normally you judge wide players on their pace and creativity, but he's physical too - exceptionally physical - and in the air he's fantastic".

Sources have told ESPN FC that the clubs have opened talks over a move for the 28-year-old, who started just four Premier League games last season, and are keen to tie up a deal before United depart this weekend.

The Sun now reports that a number of clubs want to take the central defender on loan after his World Cup heroics.

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"So for them to go back to their country and take a nation like Croatia to the World Cup final is something awesome".

Inter Milan demanded around £48m for the attacker last summer.

However, there has been no official confirmation of Manchester United's interest in signing him and he remains an Inter Milan player as things stand.

With the bulk of the senior squad still participating in the World Cup or on holiday after their exertions in Russia, Mourinho has bolstered his numbers by promoting a host of academy graduates.

New signing Diogo Dalot was also at Carrington on Wednesday, along with Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia, Andreas Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Joel Pereira.

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