Inter Milan director Walter Sabatani confirms Manchester United target Joao Mario can leave in January

by Harry Robinson

Inter Milan club director Walter Sabatani has confirmed that Manchester United target Joao Mario may be able to leave in January with a host of interested clubs.

Mario joined the Serie A outfit in 2016, signing from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon after a successful Euro 2016 campaign with his country.

He hasn’t settled in properly at the San Siro, and has struggled to break into the side regularly this season given Inter’s superb form – losing just once in 17 league matches all season. Mario’s made just four starts.

Sabatani confirmed interest in Mario and confirmed interest from Mario to leave due to a lack of gametime, but insisted no offers have come in yet.

“We didn’t receive concrete offers,” Sabatani told Portuguese outlet O Jogo. “But we know that João Mario has the World Cup and wants to play more.

“We’ll see what we’ll do now in January, we’ll meet in the next few days to decide it.”

Valencia CF and Paris Saint-Germain are the other two main sides linked with a move to Mario. Sabatani commented on links with Valencia, claiming “it would be a very intelligent transfer from [Valencia’s] part, even because we’ve been doing many deals with Valencia, we’ve got great relations.”

Despite that, Italian media are still confident that Man United are a big possibility.

The 24-year-old knows he needs regular gametime ahead of the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia next year where Portugal will look to carry on their success from the Euros.

Rumours of a part-swap deal including out-of-favour Henrikh Mkhitaryan came out in the last couple of weeks, though Inter would likely sell Mario for anything above £39.5m, what they paid Sporting for the midfielder in 2016.

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