Manchester United: Why Inter Milan Could Ruin Jose Mourinho's Summer of 2017

In an essay from the December 2000 Psychonomic Bulletin and Review entitled "Immunity to Functional Fixedness in Young Children," two scientists came to an intriguing conclusion.

Tasked with fixing a candle to a vertical surface using a box of tacks and a book of matches, children of seven were "significantly slower" to use the tack box as support for the candle when it still contained the tacks. When the tacks were removed, the children no longer saw the box as a container and were able to work out that it should be used as support. Their five-year-old counterparts, the study shows, had no such problems with adapting the box to fit the task.

Age, it seems, leads to intransigence. On Wednesday, for instance, Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio told Manchester United in certain terms that it could not have the Croatia winger Ivan Perisic this summer.

"It is not going to happen. We haven't considered anything they [United] have offered," Ausilio told Sky Sports.

This is a significant departure from recent reports that have claimed Perisic will be moving to Old Trafford before Inter heads out on a preseason tour to China next week. Perisic has agreed personal terms with United but if the two clubs cannot meet on a fee of somewhere in the region of £50 million then, as Ausilio says, the transfer will not happen.

If Perisic is unhappy and wants to move to United, it might make sense to let him leave—even for a slightly smaller sum of money than the transfer fee originally demanded. Instead, Inter appears to be digging its heels into the mud. On the other side of the deal, United manager Jose Mourinho might be better served, now, looking elsewhere for a solution to his problem on the left wing. Instead, the likelihood is that Mourinho too will dig in, hoping that Perisic will cross no-man's land at some point this summer.

A tentative conclusion, of sorts: football transfers might proceed more smoothly if conducted by five-year-olds.