West Ham are working on a permanent deal for Joao Mario after his price tag was slashed by £12million, according to a club insider.
Ex-WHU Employee, who has the inside track on all matters about Hammers, has claimed in a transfer column for West Ham Way that Mario’s club Inter Milan are unwilling to loan the attacking midfielder again next season.
He explained that Inter are willing to accept £25million for Mario rather than the £37million fee inserted in the loan-to-buy deal that took him to the London Stadium for the second half of last season.
Mario could be just the ticket for West Ham as they look to recruit a midfield creator who can open up opponents next season. With Manuel Lanzini sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury for what could be the entirety of 2018-19 in a shattering blow, the Hammers need someone with the touch, vision and quick feet to deliver the goods in the final third. Mario took a while to settle in while on loan but began to look the real deal in the final months of the recent season. Ex-boss David Moyes predominantly used him in an attacking midfield role alongside Lanzini and behind spearhead Marko Arnautovic. Mario could be the perfect replacement for Manuel Pellegrini’s countryman Lanzini, and will be even more effective once he has a full English pre-season behind him. The final decision rests with the new manager but he is said to be unsure. Pellegrini is unlikely to find anyone better on the budget available. Super Mario can rip it up next season.