The reported clause which prevents Inter’s Joao Mario from moving to a Portuguese club other than Sporting CP is only an informal agreement rather than a binding clause, according to reports.

This according to Italian news outlet FCInter1908, who report that the player’s possible move to Benfica could go ahead without any financial penalties as an obstacle.

The Portuguese midfielder spent last season on loan with Sporting and had hoped to make his stay with the club permanent this summer, with Inter also keen to offload the 28-year-old, but negotiations are thought to have broken down over Sporting’s unwillingness to meet the Nerazzurri’s valuation.

With talks no longer happening between Inter and Sporting, other clubs have begun to show an interest in the player, with Sporting’s Lisbon rivals Benfica thought to be keen on the player.

It has been reported that a clause was inserted in the deal which originally saw Mario join Inter from Sporting in 2016 which would prevent the player from joining a Portuguese club other than Sporting under threat of a financial penalty, with the amount reported to be as high as €30 million.

However, it is now thought that the clause is only an informal agreement between the two clubs rather than a binding agreement, and that Inter could negotiate with Benfica without the risk of having to pay out the reported clause to Sporting.