João Mário is said to be very old target for Liverpool FC. According to a story from Monday’s edition of A Bola, the Reds’ interest in the Sporting midfielder apparently dates back to 2011.

It all started when João Mário played against Liverpool in the NextGen Series tournament. Sporting won 3-1 at Anfield and 5-1 in the second leg. Many players attracted the Reds’ interest, including the Portuguese duo João Carlos Teixeira and Tiago Llori, who both signed for the English side a couple of years later.

A Bola says that now João Mário’s success has “exploded”, Liverpool have awoken their old love for him. Club officials have been reportedly watching the player during the last season, and they have some very good reports on the midfielder.

But the problem is the same as always. Sporting won’t let João Mário go for less than his release clause, which is €60m. A Bola call Liverpool “generous” when buying players, and they mention the deals of Nathaniel Clyne, Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke, Tiago Ilori, Lazar Markovic and even Andy Carroll.

The insinuation from A Bola is that Liverpool often pay over the odds for players, so why should Sporting accept less for João Mário?

João Mário was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United at first, as the Portuguese press made the linkl with his old representative Jorge Mendes to José Mourinho. Then the player changed agents and Chelsea were said to be leading the race due to their good relationship with new representative Kia Joorabchian. Now, there’s suddenly some old interest from Liverpool which puts the Reds at an advantage for the signing.

Who’s next? Place your bets.

Lucas Sposito.