Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic has revealed that boss Luciano Spalletti convinced the player to stay, after the Croatian was linked with Manchester United during last summer but opted to stay in Italy.
Quoted by outlet Mediaset after the 28-year-old forward's first hat-trick for Inter against Chievo over the weekend, Perisic explained the importance of Nerazzurri boss Spalletti in his decision to stay with the Milan club and reject the advances of clubs from abroad.
Perisic said: "He [Spalletti] said that all the players are important, even those who played less so far have done well."
Since making the switch from VfL Wolfsburg in August 2015, the former Borussia Dortmund man has had an uncertain time in northern Italy, but has nevertheless scored 18 times during the past two seasons.
Having netted seven times this campaign with six assists, however, Perisic is just two away from reaching his two-year average with Inter with less than half the season completed. Furthermore, his triple at the San Siro on Sunday underlined the Croat's growing reputation.
The arrival of Spalletti from Italian rivals AS Roma in the summer has seen Inter climb to top spot in the league standings - with Perisic pivotal.
The former Zenit St. Petersburg and two-time Udinese boss has been credited for the former Serie A champions' return to the summit of Italian football in recent months.
Perisic is also quick to sing the praises of his manager, and points to Spalletti as one of the main reasons for his decision to reject a move to England with the Red Devils, which at one point had seemed inevitable. He also spoke of his special 'moment' last weekend.
"The coach was very important to convince me to stay", said the forward. "I waited a long time for this moment."