26 Jul 2016

Anfield Megadeal? Liverpool make massive €40m offer for 'superb' international who's like 'Iniesta'

In May, Liverpool were linked with a summer move for 'superb' Sporting Lisbon star Joao Mario, and it appears that the Reds' interest in the Portuguese international is real.

When asked this week about Mario's future, his father told Diario de Noticias:

"I was informed that the club said no to €35m plus €10m in bonuses from Inter and to €40m from Liverpool".

It's unclear when Liverpool made this particular offer, but if it's a recent development, it may mean that the Reds are still monitoring Mario, and if that's the case, there's a possibility that the club may submit another offer before the transfer window closes.

According to Portuguese legend Paulo Futre:

"He [Mario] is the most important player in the Portuguese league [and] he is a natural replacement for Iniesta at Barcelona"

High praise indeed, but this description doesn't match the player who struggled to make any real, measurable impact for Portugal at Euro 2016.

Mario - who most often plays as an attacking midfielder (usually on the wing) - display Lots of industry but very little end product (1 assist/0 goals in 7 games), which is part of the reason why Portugal won just ONE game (in open play) en-route to the final.

In other words, like Adam Lallana, Mario *looks* dangerous, but flatters to deceive when it comes to making a game-changing impact. Mario's stats for Sporting are similarly average:

* 14 goals/17 assists 92 apps (G every 486 mins. G/A every 219 mins).

Not bad, but arguably not worth €40m. As such, I'm personally glad that Mario is the proverbial 'one that got away'.


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