West Ham United’s survival in the Premier League last season was, in part, down to the impact of new signing Joao Mario. The Portuguese international arrived at the club on loan from Inter Milan after failing to settle at the Italian side. He went on to play 13 times for the club, scoring two goals and winning over the fans with his industrious midfield displays.
This summer many wanted the Portuguese star to return to the club permanently, which is where they have hit a snag.
Simply put, he is going to cost too much.
According to a report from the London Evening Standard in May, the Hammers want to bring Mario in again on loan. Inter, however, want a £26 million fee for the player to sell him permanently.
On the one hand, West Ham should definitely consider paying that fee for an exceptional player. But the club clearly have a limited amount of funds to spend.
They have already made moves for the likes of Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks so the wage bill will be getting tight and the transfer kitty running out. With the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Felipe Anderson also being targeted the fact is West Ham feel Inter are now asking for too much for Joao Mario’s services.
They probably are and the Hammers are now right to start looking at other potentially more affordable recruits.