Tottenham have confirmed the signing of the Croatia international Ivan Perisic on a free transfer. The 33-year-old will join on a two-year deal when his contract at Internazionale expires at the end of June.
Perisic worked with Antonio Conte at Inter, where they won the 2020-21 Serie A title together, and turned down a new contract there. His arrival marks a departure from Tottenham’s usual policy of signing younger players with a sell-on value and is a further signal they are giving Conte their full backing.
Perisic has also won league titles in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and scored in a World Cup final. His versatility will appeal to Conte. The manager deployed him as a left wing-back at Inter but Perisic can also play as a winger, a second striker or attacking midfielder.
He leaves Inter after seven years and posted on Instagram: “After 254 games, 55 goals, 49 assists, 3 trophies and 18,934 minutes spent on the pitch wearing this glorious jersey; my journey here has come to an end … To the team, the staff, to all the employees but most importantly to the fans: you will always have a special place in my heart.”
The signing is the start of what is expected to be a busy summer for Spurs as they try to build a squad Conte feels is capable of challenging in the Premier League and Champions League. He will get most of the £150m that owner, Enic, invested in the club last week, as well as any proceeds from player sales.
Conte wants at least six signings and Harry Winks, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele are available to leave.
Perisic’s arrival may not be the only reunion with Spurs understood to be interested in re-signing Christian Eriksen on a free transfer. The Denmark international, who also worked with Conte at Inter, is mulling over his future after a successful return to the Premier League with Brentford.
Spurs have agreed a deal to sign the 34-year-old goalkeeper Fraser Forster on a free when his contract at Southampton ends.