Joao Mario is currently on loan at West Ham United from Inter Milan and the midfielder’s future beyond this season remains uncertain.
Having joined the Serie A outfit from Sporting in 2016, the Portuguese international struggled to feature regularly for Inter. Lack of playing time at the San Siro saw Mario join the Hammers on loan in January.
Mario has scored two goals and registered an assist in 11 Premier League appearances for David Moyes’ side in the second half of the ongoing campaign.
According to the Italian publication Calciomercato, Inter are ready to allow Mario join West Ham on a permanent transfer, if the latter are ready to meet the Nerazzurri’s €30m asking price. Inter paid €44m to Sporting two years ago and are hoping to recover the majority of the fee, but it’s believed no club will pay that.
Mario scored in his side’s 2-0 win over Leicester City over the weekend. The former Everton and Manchester United manager stressed how the midfielder has helped West Ham in “lots of ways”.
“Joao has helped us in lots of ways, he’s done two or three jobs and is a good footballer. He’s now come up with a couple of goals for us [against Southampton and Leicester] in this period. We brought him in to help us play a bit better and get a couple of goals, so I’m pleased with that,” Moyes explained.
Calciomercato claims Inter’s asking price for Mario is likely to be too high for West Ham, or anyone, which could force them to decide against signing him on a permanent transfer.
Should he not have any suitors in the summer transfer window, the Italian club will allow him to go out on loan for one more season. As a part of the loan deal, they will perhaps include a clause that will see the potential suitors sign Mario on a permanent deal in 2019.
Selling then would look better for Inter’s accounts because Mario’s initial fee will have have amortised more and any loss won’t be such a big deal, so say Calciomercato.
That may be a track for West Ham also.