Benfica have joined the running to sign Inter midfielder Joao Mario after his move to Sporting Lisbon collapsed recently, according to a report in the Italian print media today.

As has been reported by Tuttosport today, Benfica are now the third club to have expressed concrete interest in bringing the Portuguese midfielder to their club.

Joao Mario spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon and helped them to their first Liga NOS title in 19 years. He seemed set to move their permanently but the club refused to meet Inter’s €8 million asking price. The deal has since gone cold, much to Joao Mario’s disappointment.

He is determined to move away however, and Villareal and Nice have both been heavily linked. Nice are preparing an official bid, but the arrival of Benfica on the scene may be of a lot more interest to Joao Mario.

He may not be willing to move to Sporting Lisbon’s biggest rivals, but his desire to play in his native Portugal could outweigh that.