It looks like Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not thinking of stopping his shopping in the transfer market just yet. After recruiting the Belgium striker Batshuayi and today completing the signing of France international N’Golo Kante from Leicester City, Conte clearly means business.
The next name on the shopping list appears to be Joao Mario. The international played a major role in the Portugal team that won the European Championship in France. Manchester United were thought to be interested in signing the Sporting Lisbon star, but their interest in him seems to have cooled as they concentrate on the chase for Paul Pogba.
Inter Milan are, however, still interested and could offer Chelsea competition for the signature of the Portuguese. However, either Chelsea or Inter Milan will have to pay Sporting CP as much as 60 million euros if they want to sign the promising youngster.
Inter Milan were said to have made a bid of 40 million euros for the player, which was rejected by Sporting as it did not meet up their asking price for the player.
Mario’s workaholic nature and ability to cover long distances during matches seem to have been why the Chelsea manager appears keen on getting him this summer. Additionally, Joao Mario is well accustomed to the 3-5-2 formation that Antonio Conte prefers.
And with the future of Fabregas under Conte still not clear, signing Joao Mario could do wonders for Chelsea. Willian could simply be played on the right, with Joao Mario on the left while Hazard could take Fabregas’ place in the 10 role in which the Belgian excelled for Lille in the French League before he signed for Chelsea in 2012.
However, it must be said that although Joao Mario is a very good player, he is certainly not in the 60 million euros bracket and, in my opinion, Sporting Lisbon only have him priced at that amount to discourage clubs from bidding.