The transfer of Inter midfielder Joao Mario to Benfica appears to be edging closer.

This according to today’s print edition of Lisbon-based newspaper Record, who report that the player is ready to make the switch after speaking to Benfica manager Jorge Jesus.

The 28-year-old spent last season on loan with Benfica’s Lisbon rivals Sporting CP, and it is thought that his first choice was to stay at Sporting on a permanent basis for the next season.

Sporting were interested in keeping the player, and the Nerazzurri were keen to complete the sale in order to lighten their wage bill and receive a fee for a fringe squad member, but the deal broke down over Sporting’s unwillingness to meet their valuation.

After looking elsewhere for a potential destination for the Portuguese rival, it now appears that the player will remain in the Portuguese league next season, but will wear the shirt of Sporting’s derby rivals, with Benfica ready to pay Inter’s asking price for him.

With agreement seeming to be found between the clubs, the player is now prepared to make the move, with a conversation with Benfica manager Jorge Jesus thought to have helped persuade him, with the Portuguese manager having worked successfully with Mario before during the pair’s time together at Sporting in the 2015-16 season.