Portugal midfielder Joao Maria has chosen Inter Milan over Chelsea, according to reports from O Jogo. The Blues had submitted a €45m offer for the midfielder, but the player was keen on a move to Italy.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (print edition) has covered a report on Mario’s situation on their print version where they claim Inter are confident of agreeing to a deal for the midfielder and are hoping to complete the transfer within the next few days.
Portugal newspaper O Jogo (print edition – pg 18), however, reports that Inter have reached an agreement to sign Mario. As per the deal, Inter will pay €10m on loan upfront with a mandatory €35m transfer fee the following season.
Mario reportedly has a release clause of 60m, but it seems Inter Milan have sealed the deal at a reduced price. A significant portion of the fund will go the player’s agent, as Peter Kenyon (in association with super agent Jorge Mendes) owns 25% of Mario’s rights while 30% of the transfer fee will go to the financial entity to which Sporting owes money.
To be fair, Chelsea were never really in the race to sign Mario, although there could be an interest for him. The Blues have bolstered their midfield this summer with the purchase of N’Golo Kante and at this moment signing another midfielder is not their top priority.