Real Madrid have reportedly turned to Portugal international Joao Mario to be their star midfield signing this summer.

Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Sporting CP midfielder Joao Mario to add to their squad, according to Spanish publication AS. The publication report that according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Los Blancos are interested in a deal to bring the Portuguese international to Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid have faced defeat in the transfer window in their pursuit of a prized midfielder a couple of times already and are eager to make a statement with the signing of the youngster.

While Florentino Perez admitted defeat to Manchester United in the pursuit of Paul Pogba, the president is especially irked by the failure to land Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes, who chose rivals Barcelona over Madrid. The report states that Real Madrid have been impressed by Joao Mario’s Euro 2016 performance where the midfielder was a quiet star, starting six of Portugal’s seven games.

The Liga BBVA giants are set to face heavy competition for the young star though, with French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain also registering their interest in the 23-year-old. The two clubs are not the only ones in the race to sign Joao Mario, though, with a trio of Premier League clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool – also linked with a move for the Portuguese earlier in the transfer window.

"Bernabeu calling" - Joao Mario could be set for a switch to Liga BBVA giants Real Madrid. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
“Bernabeu calling” – Joao Mario could be set for a switch to Liga BBVA giants Real Madrid. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United are reportedly close to sealing a deal for Paul Pogba involving a world-record transfer fee and are unlikely to make a move for the 23-year-old. Chelsea have signed N’Golo Kante to spearhead their midfield and have been recently linked with a move for Brazilian wonderkid Thiago Maia, which is likely to mean they are not in the race to sign Joao Mario anymore.

Liverpool have reportedly retained their interest in the Euro 2016 star along with Inter Milan. The Reds could follow up on their €40m bid for Joao Mario.

Real Madrid, though, would be a better choice for the player as there are a host of Portuguese internationals already playing for Los Merengues along with other Portuguese speaking players. Also, the appeal of playing at Santiago Bernabeu for a club as historic as Real Madrid could be a decisive factor in the transfer.

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