A couple of months after declaring he wouldn’t be playing in Italy any longer, Joao Mario remains under contract at Inter, looking for a way out.
The Portugal international has been linked with half of the Premier League, including newly promoted Wolves, throughout the summer, and that isn’t going to stop until the transfer window shuts in England.
We have proof of this, as Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday now report four Premier League clubs are looking at him: Bournemouth, Everton, West Ham and Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves.
We’ll start with West Ham, who already know all about Joao Mario, having welcomed him on loan during the second part of last season without making the deal permanent when his time to return to Italy came along.
Admittedly, a managerial change has since taken place, so the requirements might have been altered, and it seems Manuel Pellegrini could now be interested in the midfielder.
We won’t dwell too long on Wolves, as the obvious reason why he’s being linked is Jorge Mendes and the ridiculous amount of Portuguese players already at the club.
In fact, Gazzetta dello Sport don’t even hide that, stating the club has a strong ‘Portuguese appeal’.
As for Everton, Joao Mario will know all about Marco Silva, having played under him at Sporting CP before the young manager moved to Greece and, subsequently, England.
Whether the Toffees need another midfielder remains to be seen, and the same could be said about the Bournemouth, who appear to be currently focusing on the acquisition of Levante’s Jefferson Lerma.
The arrival of a defensive minded player in that area seems to be Eddie Howe’s main priority, and the 23-year-old certainly makes more sense than Joao Mario.
Then again, Bournemouth could be after two midfielders, but that would mean spending another €20-30m on the Portugal international on top of the €25m+ the La Liga side are asking for his Colombian counterpart.
There’s just over a week left in the transfer window, meaning deals are going to start coming through quickly as panic mode sets in.
Joao Mario is likely to be one of them, but we still don’t know where.
First, a ‘real offer’ needs to be made, and none have arrived, meaning there’s also the chance Inter will have to make do with a loan, just to get rid of the wages.