Joao Mario’s departure from Inter to join Benfica on a permanent basis looks to be imminent.

This according to Sky Sport Italia transfer market expert Gianluca Di Marzio, who reported on air that the Nerazzurri have an agreement in place with the Portuguese giants that would see the Portuguese midfielder leave the club.

The 28-year-old was purchased from Sporting CP in the summer of 2016, arriving in the same summer as manager Frank de Boer.

Despite showing early promise, the midfielder failed to find any sustained form during his Nerazzurri career, and has been sent out on loan to the likes of West Ham United, Lokomotiv Moscow, and last season, back to Sporting.

Mario won the Portuguese league with Sporting, and it was thought that his first choice for next season was a stay at the club, but talks to make the move permanent broke down over the Portuguese club’s unwillingness to meet Inter’s valuation.

However, the player will still play in Lisbon next season, with Sporting’s city rivals Benfica having stepped in to make an offer for the midfielder, and the deal to sell him now looks close.