Joao Mario played a major role in Portugal’s triumph at Euro 2016 and his performances have drawn the attention of Europe’s top clubs.


The 23-year-old was at the heart of the Portugal midfield as they emerged as shock victors at the European Championships in France. He started all but one of their seven Euro 2016 games, averaging 41 passes per game at an accuracy of 85.7% (stats via Whoscored).

Joao Mario’s agent Kia Joorabchian is currently deliberating over his client’s future with current club Sporting CP. He recently stated that the young midfielder would seek a move away if his wages weren’t increased, also revealing that Liverpool and Inter Milan are among four clubs who have made offers to Sporting for his client.

“A European champion must be rewarded. From now on, we either discuss a new contract or the sale to another club.” Joorabchian told Portuguese outlet Record (via The Telegraph).

“Sporting received four offers. Inter Milan and Liverpool, certainly, with amounts between 35 and 40 million, plus bonuses. Sporting turned down all bids.”

The other two clubs are believed to be Ligue 1 champions PSG and Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Chelsea, who have reportedly made a €40 million bid for Mario.

Image Credits: AFP/Getty Images
Image Credits: AFP/Getty Images

Joao Mario has been with Sporting CP since the age of 11, where he climbed through the ranks to break into the senior team. He became an important first team player for Sporting in the 2014-15 season, where he made 44 appearances and scored 7 goals. The 23-year-old continued to be a mainstay for the Portuguese club this past season, making 45 appearances in all competitions and scoring 7 goals, attracting interest even before his international exploits.

Manchester United were scouting Mario shortly after the end of last season, but the club have cooled their interests as they go all out to sign their former youth player Paul Pogba for a world record transfer fee.

As things stand, the Reds face some tough competition for the young Portuguese players signature. Inter have received a big infusion of cash after the Chinese takeover, while the potential transfer fee could skyrocket if the other two interested clubs are indeed PSG and Chelsea.

Two of Joao Mario’s midfield compatriots in Portugal’s European triumph have already moved to bigger clubs. Andre Gomes and Renato Sanches have been snapped up by Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively, and Mario is also expected to make a move to the big leagues sooner rather than later.

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