Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti has told Ivan Perisic he needs to shape up and deliver now the transfer window has closed and his proposed move to Arsenal has fallen through.
Perisic was dropped for the Nerazzurri's 1-0 defeat to Torino last weekend as well as their penalty shootout defeat to Lazio in the Coppa Italia on Thursday night. Rumours of interest from Arsenal was the official reason for his exclusion, but now that transfer can no longer happen this winter, Spalletti expects his winger to focus on his football again.
"Now the market has closed, he needs to rediscover the obligations that a footballer has," Spalletti told RAI television after his side were knocked out of the Coppa Italia.
"I don't know if it was the right thing to talk about these offers that he had, but this is how the transfer market works and the player said he was interested.
"In the end, nothing happened, but the fact that there was so much said about it created all of this. Now he'll get back to training and as soon as he gets everything sorted out in his head, he will play again."
Perisic was on the bench on Thursday and he encouraged his teammates ahead of the penalty shootout, aware that a move to the Gunners was not going to materialise. On Wednesday, Spalletti said he had already seen improvements in the Croatian's attitude as he predicted the transfer would not go through, and claimed that the player had been "misled."
"He had difficulty making up his mind because something was put to him which was just as big [as staying here] and it led him into temptation, and these are things that happen," Spalletti told a news conference.