West Ham United are on the cusp of completing a six-month loan deal for Inter Milan’s Joao Mario, according to the Telegraph.
Football journalist Jason Burt has reported that the midfielder is flying into London on Thursday to finalise the terms of his temporary switch, which includes an option to buy if he has a successful time with the Hammers.
West Ham manager David Moyes is keen to bolster his midfield options this month and the capture of Mario would be something of a coup for the capital-based club if – and when – they manage to secure his signature.
Joao Mario due in London today to finalise move from Inter Milan to West Ham
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) January 25, 2018
West Ham, who are covering Mario’s full salary packet, have apparently seen off interest from other European teams to land the ex-Sporting starlet, and Mario could even be in line to make his debut against Wigan in Saturday’s FA Cup tie if his paperwork is completed by Friday lunch time.
Mario joined Inter from Sporting in the summer of 2016 for £36m and, whilst he has featured 47 times for I Nerazzurri in the past 18 months, would have fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Rafinha on loan from Barcelona.
The Portugal international has also only started two of the last 16 Serie A contests and has only played 92 minutes’ worth of football in the league since 23rd December.
Joao Mario to West Ham deal almost done. Very impressive for Portugal at Euro 2016. Massive signing for West Ham.
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) January 24, 2018
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Moyes, who is also believed to be running the rule over the likes of Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey and Real Betis midfielder Fabian Ruiz, wants to add further quality to his first-team squad as the January transfer window enters its final week.
The Scot has been busy during the past month as he looks to strengthen each area of his team to help lead the Irons away from the growing relegation battle at the foot of the Premier League.
Talented youth product Reece Oxford has been recalled from his loan spell at Gladbach, but Moyes has been unable to snap up any outside additions as of yet. Mario will, therefore, become his first signing as West Ham boss and many more should follow before next Wednesday’s deadline.
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