The long drawn Joao Mario saga seems to be nearing its conclusion as Sporting Lisbon reportedly have an agreement with Italian giants Inter Milan for a transfer. Chelsea and Manchester United were also monitoring the Portuguese star who played a crucial role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph this summer.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported yesterday that the Nerazzurri has agreed a fee of €40m plus €5m for the 23-year-old attacking midfielder. The report says that the Portuguese club have accepted the offer despite the midfielder having a €60m release clause. The midfielder has accepted a salary of €3m a year from Inter.
Earlier, Portuguese source Jornal de Noticias had claimed that Chelsea and Manchester United were both interested in the midfielder and Chelsea had already made a bid to sign the player before the Euros started (via Express). His value sky-rocketed once the Euros got over as he impressed along with the rest of his Portuguese stars, Andre Gomes and Renato Sanches.
Joao Mario Skips Training?
Earlier today, Sky reported that Joao Mario skipped the training session which served as a further indication that he is close to finalising a deal with Inter Milan. Sky further said that the midfielder who came through Sporting’s youth ranks could arrive in Milan on Monday to take his medical and sign his contract with the Beneamata (via Football-Italia).
However Sporting Lisbon’s official rubbished claims that the midfielder had missed training –
“Joao Mario is a Sporting player!” communications director Nuno Saraiva clarified.
“Today he trained as normal and tomorrow he’ll be available against Maritimo for the first game in a League season which we start with the maximum ambition.
“It makes no sense to try and guess the future, the President [Bruno de Carvalho] is sure of that and he’ll be the only one who decides how it ends.” (via Football-Italia)
The Nerazzurri have tried to sign Joao Mario all summer, and despite their attempts being continually rebuffed they’ve always come back with a better offer. It is still a long way from Inter’s persistence being rewarded in the right way but they are certainly driving a hard bargain for the player. With a new coach in Frank De Boer and an exciting and talented squad, Inter’s project is certainly one of the most convincing in Italy at the moment.