Benfica are determined to complete a deal for Inter’s Joao Mario, and have taken further steps to bring him to the Estadio da Luz.
This according to today’s print edition of Lisbon-based newspaper Correio da Manha, who report that the club’s Board of Directors have made the decision to press on with the deal while meeting yesterday after club president Luis Filipe Vieira was arrested.
The Lisbon club have become firm favourites for the 28-year-old’s signature ahead of Lisbon rivals Sporting CP after talks to take the player to Sporting on a permanent basis fell through due to the latter’s unwillingness to meet the Nerazzurri’s valuation for the midfielder.
Mario spent last season on loan with Sporting where he helped the club win their first Portuguese title in nineteen years and had initially preferred that his loan be made a permanent stay, but now he is ready to move to Benfica instead.
However, Sporting have threatened legal action over the potential deal, with the club believing that a clause prohibiting Inter from selling the player to their domestic rivals means that they should receive a substantial financial penalty should they complete the sale.
Benfica are nevertheless determined to complete the deal, and after their Sporting Directors were in Milan earlier this week to progress negotiations, the Board are hoping to finalize details soon on the transfer.