Joao Mario’s interest in re-joining Sporting CP on a permanent basis has waned, and the player only wants Benfica for next season.

This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who report that the 28-year-old is no longer interested in listening to offers from Sporting after negotiations with the Portuguese champions stalled.

Mario is a player who Inter want to offload in the summer, with the €6 million remaining wages owed in the final year of the midfielder’s contract not something the club wish to pay.

The Portuguese spent last season on loan with Sporting, helping the Lisbon club lift their first Portuguese championship in nineteen years, and it is thought that his preference for a move in the summer would have been to make his stay at Sporting permanent.

However, the deal collapsed over Sporting’s unwillingness to meet the financial demands of either the Nerazzurri or the player.

Now, it is Sporting’s Lisbon rivals Benfica who have become firm favourites, submitting an offer which Inter will accept if they can deal with potential legal challenges from Sporting, and the player is also thought to be fully on board with a move to Benfica.