Fresh off the back of a victorious Euro 2016 campaign with Portugal, midfielder Joao Mario is being linked with a €40 million transfer to Premier League giants Chelsea.
Sporting CP midfielder Joao Mario has been subject to a lot of interest this transfer window. According to Sport Witness, Chelsea are readying a colossal €40 million bid for the highly rated Portuguese international. It is also understood that new boss Antonio Conte is a huge fan of the 23-year-old and wants the player to be a part of his rebuilding plans at the Stamford Bridge.
Joao Mario showed tremendous potential in France, where he helped Portugal defy all odds to win the Euro 2016 final against the hosts in Saint-Denis. His best performance came in the thrilling 3-3 draw against underdogs Hungary, where he got a key assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal that saw the Portuguese claw their way back into the game. The 23-year-old’s distribution throughout the tournament was also very impressive as he recorded a pass accuracy of 85.7 per cent (via WhoScored).
The midfielder was also a reported target of fellow Premier League side Manchester United. New boss Jose Mourinho believes his Portuguese connection may help in luring the Sporting midfielder to Old Trafford. However, since the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mourinho’s interest seems to have dwindled, clearing the path for Conte and Chelsea.
Joao Mario in wage dispute with Sporting CP, according to his father
According to the player’s father, Joao Mario is unhappy at Sporting due to the club’s treatment of the midfielder. As reported by Portuguese newspaper A Bola, he said, “Joao is hurt by Sporting. If an employee has a good annual income, the policy is worth the effort and productivity. It is normal that is hurt, thinks it is not sufficiently valued. Sporting says Joao is worth €60 million and treat him like he is worth 10.”
He also spoke about the possibilities of the player leaving after spending 12 years at the Estádio José Alvalade with the youth as well as senior side. “We are prepared for Joao to stay another year in Portugal, but Sporting have to recognize the importance of it and pay him a fair value.”