Sporting CP have dropped out of the race to sign midfielder Joao Mario from Inter, according to reports.

This from Porto-based newspaper O Jogo, who claim that the Lisbon-based club have settled on an alternative to the 28-year-old.

Mario is a player who the Nerazzurri are hoping to offload in the summer, with his wages considered excessive for a player not in the plans of manager Simone Inzaghi.

The Portuguese had spent last season on loan with Sporting, where he had helped the club win their first Portuguese title in nineteen years, and he is thought to have hoped for a stay in the Portuguese capital on a permanent basis.

However, the Portuguese champions are struggling financially thanks to the pandemic, and were not able to meet Inter’s €7.5 million valuation for the player, unwilling to go higher than €6 million with their offer.

The player’s salary is also thought to have been an issue, with Mario earning enough to take the total proposed deal with Sporting to an expenditure in excess of €20 million.

As such, the club stalled on negotiations over the fee, and to have moved onto Familicao’s 20-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte as a target in lieu of the Nerazzurri man.

Inter have already been considering options outside of Sporting for the player’s move, and now look set to have to find a buyer for the 28-year-old among other interested clubs.