Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has started a PR campaign to get the fans back behind Ivan Perisic, claiming Arsenal ‘conned’ the winger with their offer.

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MILAN, ITALY – DECEMBER 26: Ivan Perisic of FC Internazionale reacts after misses a chance of goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 26, 2018, in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Speaking to the media after Inter’s cup exit to Lazio, their second consecutive defeat in two games without Perisic, Spalletti tried to shift the blame for the whole situation away from the player and onto Arsenal.

“As for Perisic, there was this story on the market, but he is a professional, understands his role and yesterday it was already a very different mood,” Spalletti said (via Goal). “These things happen in the transfer window, the player received an impressive proposal and was tempted.

“However, he then realised it was not a true offer, that he’d been conned, and took a step back. Now he’ll resume training and as soon as his mind is back fully on Inter, we’ll let him play.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Ivan Perisic attends an Inter Milan press conference at Wembley Stadium on November 27, 2018, in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

This is a completely different take on events than the one being reported by every other source.

Inter’s own director revealed Perisic had submitted a transfer request. Then, reliable sources like the BBC‘s David Ornstein confirmed the move only fell through over a disagreement between Arsenal and Inter over the nature of the deal.

Arsenal wanted a loan with an option to buy, whereas Inter would only accept a permanent deal or a loan with an obligation to buy. In the end, the two clubs couldn’t reach a compromise, but there’s no suggestion it had anything to do with Perisic realising he’d been conned and stepping back.

You can understand why Spalletti is fabricating his own storyline though. The Inter fans are much more likely to warm to Perisic again if they think it was the player’s decision not to leave after coming to his senses. Considering the Serie A club’s form without the winger, they need him back in the team as soon as possible.