Chelsea may well have a second chance to sign João Mário. The player was said to be very close to joining Inter Milan, in a deal which could have been done today.

But according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo and their Friday edition, Sporting kept hope that Chelsea could outbid Inter in the battle for the midfielder.

Gazzetta Dello Sport, quoted by O Jogo, claimed Inter would pay €5m for a one-year loan with a clause which obliges them to buy the player in the next summer for other €40m.

The other option was to have Inter’s new ‘sister club’ (same investors) Jiangsu Suning buy the player, because they have zero financial issues, and loan him to the Italian club. However, the Chinese transfer window has now closed, so that’s pretty much ruled out.

João Mário’s links with Chelsea started after he hired Kia Joorabchian to be his agent. However, after all the links with several English clubs, none of them seem to have actually bid for the player.

At the time when Premier League clubs were linked, Sporting’s president used to say the midfielder wasn’t leaving for less than his €60m release clause. It’s funny to see how things have changed since then.

Chelsea now have another chance to sign Joao Mario, and likely for a fee of €40m or less.