Inter midfielder Joao Mario looks set to depart from the Giuseppe Meazza, with the player ready to terminate his contract in order to do so.

This according to today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, who report that the 28-year-old could be allowed to leave with one year remaining and join the Lisbon giants in order to avoid legal complications associated with a potential sale.

Mario is a player who the Nerazzurri have made clear their intention to sell this summer, with the player’s €6 million wages considered far too high for a player not in the first-team plans of manager Simone Inzaghi.

The player had spent last season on loan with Benfica’s city rivals Sporting CP, and it is thought that a permanent stay at Sporting was his preference, but Inter and Sporting were unable to agree a deal for his sale over the latter’s unwillingness to meet the asking price.

The Nerazzurri sought another buyer, and Sporting’s city rivals jumped ahead of the queue and are now very close to a deal for the player, with full agreement with the midfielder and agreement in principle with the Nerazzurri over the financial terms of the deal.

However, a clause in the original deal which brought the player to Inter from Sporting in 2016 supposedly prevents his sale to a Portuguese club besides Sporting, a potential legal obstacle.

To prevent Sporting from taking legal action by invoking this clause, the Nerazzurri will allow the player to leave the club, where he will join Benfica as a free agent rather than being sold.

This means that the player will not be sold for a fee, though the valuation is agreed within clubs, and Benfica will owe the Nerazzurri the €7.5 million, perhaps as part of a future deal between the two clubs.