Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has emerged as a target for Leeds United this summer, a report from Portuguese outlet O Jogo has claimed.
The Whites are apparently one of several clubs from across Europe keen on the 27-year-old, and it seems as though he could well be available for Marcelo Bielsa’s side to make their move in the coming weeks.
A midfielder is clearly on the agenda for Leeds this summer as they look to strengthen their side following promotion, and it seems as though they are determined to pluck one from Serie A.
Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul, Fiorentina’s Erick Pulgar, and Atalanta’s Ruslan Malinovskyi have all been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer, and now it appears as though Mario has joined that list.
According to the latest reports, Leeds are one of a number of clubs who are keen to sign the Portuguese international, with the Championship title winners said to have made an enquiry about the midfielder.
Newcastle and West Ham – where Mario scored two goals in 14 appearances during a loan spell in 2018 – are also said to have made contact about the midfielder.
Meanwhile, La Liga duo Real Betis and Valencia, as well as Turkish giants Galatasaray, have all been credited with an interest in Mario.
It is thought that Inter manager Antonio Conte is willing to sell the midfielder this summer, with Mario having fallen down the pecking at the Nerazzurri, spending last season on loan in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Inter would apparently be willing to let the 27-year-old leave for a fee of around £12million, and as things stand, there are just under two years remaining on Mario’s contract with the Italian giants.
In total, the midfielder has made 69 appearances and scored four goals in all competitions for Inter, since joining from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2016.
This could be a really decent deal for Leeds to get done if they are indeed able to pull it off.
They clearly want to add a midfielder to their ranks this summer, and in Mario, they would be getting one with experience of playing at the very top level, with the ability to dominate and dictate games from the centre of the park.
Indeed, having fallen down the pecking order at Inter to the point where they are willing to sell him, you also feel that he himself will feel like he has a point to prove, and the chance to do so in the Premier League after that slightly underwhelming spell at West Ham a couple of years ago.
It also looks as though Mario could be cheaper for Leeds than some of their other rumoured targets, while at 27-years-old, he still has plenty of time remaining at the peak of his career to make an impact at Elland Road should he make the move.
However, with the level of interest there appears to be in Mario from across the continent, there is as of yet no guarantee that Yorkshire will be the next destination for the midfielder, although it could turn this into something of a coip if things do play out that way.