Newcastle have been offered the chance to sign Inter Milan’s Portuguese midfielder João Mário, according to reports from Italy.
The player has interested Everton recently, with Marco Silva rating him highly, although a move to Goodison Park does not appear close.
Website Interlive.it, however, claim contact has been made with Newcastle over a possible £18 million deal.
Of course, the opening of the summer transfer window invariably means it is silly season for transfer speculation.
The Magpies will need to strengthen in midfield, with both Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey possibly leaving.
Having played in the Premier League, Mário could be ideal Shelvey replacement
Mário made 12 starts from 14 games during a loan spell in the Premier League at West Ham in 2018.
At 26, he is on the cusp of Mike Ashley’s transfer blueprint, but with an outlay of £18m needed, he may not represent an opportunity for a high sell-on – one of the owner’s stipulations.
Mário only made 12 starts for Inter last season, and completed a full 90 minutes just five times.
He now seems surplus to requirements at the San Siro, and his departure seems inevitable.
He would be an interesting proposition for Newcastle, and could be the play-maker they need. But whether there will be any genuine interest is doubtful.
Assuming he stays, it remains to be seen how much leeway Rafa Benitez is given for signing players, however.
But for now, tenuous links for players will persist, whether they are genuine, or part of the politics of seeking improved deals at current clubs.
Take it with a pinch of salt if you will, but never say never.