A new factor has emerged in the situation of Inter midfielder Joao Mario, thought to be hoping for a move away from the Giuseppe Meazza this summer.

A clause inserted into the Portuguese’s contract when he signed for Inter from Sporting CP in 2016 that prohibits the player from joining one of Sporting’s Portuguese rivals is valid until 2022, according to today’s print edition of Lisbon-based newspaper Record.

The clause is thought to carry a penalty of €30 million should the midfielder make the move to a Portuguese club other than Sporting before the end of June 2022.

This would almost certainly be enough to deter Inter from attempting such a move.

It is unknown how this clause would affect the Portuguese’s future, as he remains committed to returning to Sporting permanently after a fruitful loan spell last season, and no interest is known to come in from any such club.

However, it could represent a sticking point, with Inter and Sporting already said to be €2.5 million apart from one another on the question of the player’s valuation.