Saturday January 2 2016
Perisic: 'I almost joined Napoli'

Ivan Perisic admits Inter “have been lucky” to be top of the table and why his transfer to Napoli collapsed in 2014.

The winger spoke to the Corriere dello Sport ahead of Wednesday’s Serie A game against Empoli.

“We are strong and must believe in ourselves,” said the Croatia international.

“We must also do better, above all in terms of our playing style. In some games we achieved three points because we were lucky.

“Inter played well against Juventus, Roma and Napoli, but it is necessary to do so with more consistency. In the long run, playing good football is important.

“We have not always played good football, but we are still top of the table and being there is certainly not undeserved. This bodes well for the future.”

The Nerazzurri’s lead has been sliced to just one point following a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Lazio.

“We are top and it’s great to be there at almost the halfway stage of the season. Finishing in the top three is fundamental this season and it won’t be easy, as there’s so much competition in Serie A.

“Juventus are back to their level, Napoli and Fiorentina play wonderful football, while Roma are returning to the form they had in October.

“There are no favourites, though obviously I hope Inter win the Scudetto. Juventus are the strongest opponents, but we must make the most of the fact we do not have European commitments to worry about.

“Roberto Mancini works on tactics and the details. The fact we concede so few goals is not a coincidence. I must admit winning 1-0 is new for me. In Germany it only happened a couple of times.”

Perisic arrived at Inter after a lengthy negotiation process with Wolfsburg, but reveals he could’ve been in Serie A much sooner.

“There were negotiations with Napoli before and after the World Cup in Brazil. It was a serious negotiation, but not enough to sign contracts.

“If I hadn’t injured my shoulder, things probably would’ve gone differently.”