According to Portuguese outlet O Jogo, Newcastle are interested in signing Inter Milan attacker Joao Mario, with Leeds and West Ham are also eyeing the playmaker.

La Liga outfits Valencia and Real Betis are also paying attention to the situation, while Galatasaray have been mentioned as another potential destination by O Jogo.

Fans of the Premier League should know the Portugal international well. He spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign on loan at West Ham, scoring two goals in 14 appearances.

Parma Calcio v FC Internazionale - Serie A
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

After one particular goalscoring display against Southampton, David Moyes described the 27-year-old as a ‘really hard-working boy’ as the Hammers won 3-0.

The Independent quote the Scot as saying: ‘Mario brings a little bit of flair, he’s good on the ball, and a bit of natural talent. What goes un-noticed is that he’s actually a really hard-working boy as well.’

If we manage to fend off Mario’s former club and also Marcelo Bielsa, then there’s no doubting that the Magpies will have a player of some pedigree.

He is a European Championship winner, who The Telegraph report once cost over £39.8m when Inter Milan signed him from Sporting Lisbon. At the time, it was the biggest ever transfer by a Portuguese club.

Portugal Portraits - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
(Photo by David Ramos – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Judging by Sunday’s display against Brighton, we could do with his creativity.

As WhoScored shows, Newcastle failed to have a shot on target against the Seagulls, and looked devoid of any sort of attacking quality.

We have a mission to land Mario given the vast competition for his signature, but he would be a decent coup if Steve Bruce and Lee Charnley can pull it off.

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