Fresh from winning the Euro championships with Portugal, young midfielder Joao Mario might be looking to make another big step in his career. It’s time for him to focus on his future. Like all good players who move away the Portuguese league at some point, probably the time is right for Mario to move elsewhere and play at a bigger club.
The 23-year-old has been frequently linked with a move to Chelsea this summer and according to reports from Portugal newspaper O JOGO (zerozero.pt) a move to London could be on the cards. The Blues are willing to offer €40m for his signature, claim the report.
Mario enjoyed a superb 2015/16 campaign with Sporting last season helping his side finishing second in the league, only two points behind Champions Benfica. He scored seven goals and further assisted 12 in 45 appearances across all competitions.
Chelsea probably have done a bit of groundwork already having met with the player’s agent to discuss a move back in May.
Mario is also a reported target of Premier League giants Manchester United. The Red Devils were reportedly ready to pay €60m for the midfielder but it seems they probably had cooled down their interest. Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has emerged as the primary target for Manchester United instead and should the Red Devils sign him up this summer it will clear the path for Chelsea to snap up Mario.
Mario has a refined technique and he is very good with control and touch within tight spaced. Although not blessed with pace, he covers it up with a sharp passing range. He has an eye for releasing long-range passes and sets up goal scoring opportunities for others.
He is energetic and his work rate is admirable, although he needs to work on physicality to survive in the Premier League. Antonio Conte is looking for a more all-round type midfielder and therefore a move for Joao Mario makes sense.