Joao Mario: I'm trying to talk Ronaldo into joining Inter!

The Italians have been linked with a sensational move for Lionel Messi, but Joao Mario wants to tempt his compatriot to San Siro instead

Joao Mario says he is trying to persuade Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to join him at Inter, but is finding the task difficult.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio recently vowed to stop discussing reports linking his side with a shock move for Barcelona star Lionel Messi as he feared it would delude their supporters.

Those links had emerged after former Inter president Massimo Moratti stated the club were planning to make a major signing.

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But Portugal international Joao Mario, who won Euro 2016 with Ronaldo last year, has a different dream buy in mind for the Serie A side and joked he is doing his bit to help them land his international team-mate.

“Portugal have a lot of quality, but Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously our talisman, our most important player,” Joao Mario told Inter TV.

“I am trying to talk him into joining me at Inter! Let’s just say it is difficult!
“He is not just a team-mate – he is also a friend, a good person and a born leader. He is a great guy who cares about everyone.

“Euro 2016 was a unique experience. I have always dreamt of winning something with my country, but I would never have imagined it happening the way it did.”

Joao Mario, 24, joined Inter from Sporting CP – also a former club of Ronaldo – last August in a deal that could reach a value of €45million.