Russian Premier League club Spartak Moscow have joined the list of clubs interested in Inter midfielder Joao Mario, with the 28-year-old’s move to Sporting CP off.
This according to today’s print edition of Lisbon-based newspaper Record, who report that the midfielder is also a target for Nice and Benfica.
Mario is a player whose wages Inter are hoping to offload in the summer, and Sporting were thought to be the likeliest destination with the player having been at the Lisbon club last season on loan, and a permanent stay thought to be his preference.
However, negotiations with the Lisbon club broke down over the fee involved, and it is now thought that there is no possibility of a stay at Sporting on a permanent basis for the midfielder.
Sporting’s Lisbon rivals Benfica are thought to be heavily interested in the player, with head coach Jorge Jesus having worked with the 28-year-old in the past and asking for him.
However, there are two major obstacles towards a deal with Benfica, the first being that the player does not want to move to Sporting’s major rivals and has requested that other options be considered first, and the second a clause in the deal which brought the player to Inter from Sporting in 2016 which states that Sporting will receive €30 million from Inter should the player move to another Portuguese club within a certain timeframe.
Nice and Villarreal are among the other clubs said to be after the Portuguese, with the French side in particular being heavily linked recently, but a new name has emerged as a possible destination.
Spartak Moscow have made a move for the player, and are thought to be ready to offer the €7.5 million requested by the Nerazzurri for the player.