Manchester United and Everton are reportedly set to go head-to-head in the summer to sign Joao Mario from Inter Milan.
According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Joao Mario is the subject of interest of Manchester United and Everton. The two Premier League clubs are set to battle each other in pursuit of the Inter Milan midfielder in the summer.
Joao Mario progressed through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon before graduation to the senior side at the nascent age of 18. For five seasons, the player was one of the most instrumental figures for the Portuguese giants, and he also played a key role in Portugal’s triumph in Euro 2016.
His stellar performances for both club and country saw Mario being snapped up by Inter Milan last summer. However, the move has yet to pay off, as the 24-year-old has battled through an inconsistent run of form all through the campaign, in what has also been a disastrous season for the Nerazzurri.
The Portugal international has played 33 matches in all competitions for Inter this season, scoring three goals while also providing eight assists in the process. However, with a summer squad overhaul in the offing at San Siro, Mario is one of the players who has been put on sale by the Italian club.
As a result, he is likely to move away from Inter after just one season at San Siro. Sensing the opportunity to land the Portugal international, Manchester United and Everton have set their sights on the player and are likely to make a move for him this summer.
At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has a need to sign a central midfielder in the summer transfer window following the departures of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, which leaves the Portuguese with just Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini as his recognised options.
With a need to make reinforcement for the heart of midfield, Mourinho has now turned his attention towards his compatriot, having also failed in his attempts to sign him last summer.
However, he is set to face competition for the player in the form of Everton, who are also keen on signing a central midfielder in the summer. The Toffees have enjoyed a consistent season following the arrival of Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park.
However, a key Everton midfielder, Ross Barkley is being heavily linked with a summer exit from the Merseyside club, which is why Koeman is eager to sign a top quality replacement for the Englishman.
Mario still has more than four years left to run on his deal with Inter, and he is likely to command a sizable fee, even though the Nerazzurri are keen to offload him in the summer. It now remains to be seen where his next destination lies, with Manchester United and Everton set to battle it out for the player.