Italian media has placed Everton alongside Real Betis and Sevilla in the pursuit of Inter Milan’s Joao Mario in a €27 million move. Reportedly, it is Inter’s intention to use Mario to fund a move for Arturo Vidal.
I sincerely doubt that Marcel Brands in this more careful summer is willing to drop such a figure on the Portuguese midfielder. He is a good player, and a versatile one as well, but his preferred position is as an attacking midfielder, and I simply see no indication that Everton are interested in overloading that position for a second summer running, especially for such a large fee.
Mario spent the latter half of last season on loan to West Ham, and it would be quite a trick of they got someone to pay nearly the entire expected asking price of Vidal for a player they’ve openly admitted that they don’t need, but as you can see by this radar, the quality is there:
The key passes and dribble stats are exactly what you’d want from your attacking mid, and what is better is that in addition to the volume of dribbles he completed 69% of them, I just do not see where he plays. Gylfi Sigurdsson has the 10 spot locked down pretty well, and we seem likely to play two wingers. I do not think Gana will be sacrificed for him, and while he could bring something of the passing that Morgan Schneiderlin gives, it seems unlikely that he would be placed so deep on the field.
It is in Inter’s interest to link themselves to monied clubs, and by reputation that’s exactly what we are. I think this is simply Inter getting the Italian media to drive up the rumor of a player it wants to be rid of. I see no chance that Mario ends up in a blue shirt.