West Ham United In Race To Sign 25 Y/O Portuguese Midfielder: Can Pellegrini Get Him?

West Ham United are listed as the third favourites behind Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur for the signing of Inter Milan midfielder, Joao Mario. One would think that after last season’s brief loan spell at London Stadium, the Hammers would be in the lead for the 25-year-old signature but that is not the case. Manuel Pellegrini is looking to bolster the club ranks but has already added Jack Wilshere on a free transfer and have the likes of Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini in the club ranks.

United already are set to break their own transfer record for Felipe Anderson and have also sanctioned a move for Fabian Balbuena. Pellegrini will have to beat out some powerful domestic competition to make Mario his eighth signing as the Hammers manager.

West Ham have set out on an ambitious path towards Premier League recognition after nearing a relegation scare last term. David Moyes managed to guide the side to the 13th spot of the points table but was later replaced by a league-winning manager.

Joao Mario played a key role in helping the club maintain their top-flight status by appearing in 13 league games and delivering with 2 goals and a single assist. He replaced an injured Lanzini in the attacking midfield to drive the club’s offence while also putting in a decent shift on defence.

The Portuguese international also played a part for his country in the 2018 FIFA World Cup but his exploits were more noticeable in the 2016 Euro Cup. He is a versatile presence on the pitch and can appear from any of the midfield positions.

With 40 caps to his name already for Portugal, Mario has grown increasingly frustrated with his involvement in the Milan first team. After just 5 starts in 19 Serie A fixtures in the first half of the 2017/18 campaign, he opted for a move away from the club in order to safeguard his chances of international selection.

Now, the 25-year-old is expected to be traded away permanently after just 18 months spent in the San Siro. Mario started his career in his home nation for Sporting Lisbon and even featured in 93 of the club’s games, scoring 14 and furthering 18 assists.

He is mostly known for his close control and remarkable composure while on the ball. The midfielder enjoys surging ahead to link up his team’s attack but is also disciplined with his positioning.

Read More: West Ham United Drop Interest In Former Manchester City Ace: Recipe For Disaster By Pellegrini?

He could be the driving factor for West Ham in the upcoming season but Pellegrini have to enter negotiations with the Italian outfit fast, well before the Wanderers or Spurs.

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