It is now only a matter of time before Inter playmaker Joao Mario becomes a Sporting player on a permanent basis as negotiations between the two clubs involved come close to an end.

This according to today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, who claim that the clubs have agreed upon a fee and are now only discussing the method of payment.

The final agreement is said to be for a fee of €7.5m for the Portuguese player.

The 28-year-old joined Inter from Sporting  in the summer of 2016 off the back of a successful European Championships in which he played a key role in Portugal’s triumph.

After falling behind in the pecking order at the San Siro the Portuguese went out on loan to West Ham United and Lokomotiv Moscow in search of regular football.

Mario spent last season on loan with Sporting where he helped his boyhood club win their first Portuguese league title in nineteen years.

The midfielder is happy in Lisbon and clearly indicated his desire to stay at Sporting.