West Ham close in on Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario

Initially reluctant to make the move to England, Joao Mario has now decided a transfer to London could well be on the cards.

West Ham close in on Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario
Joao Mario of Internazionale during the serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and FC Internazionale at Stadio Artemio Franchi on January 5, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

West Ham United are on the brink of signing Joao Mario on loan  from Inter Milan as David Moyes looks to make his first addition since taking the helm in East London.

According to Sky sources, the Portugal international will arrive at the London Stadium temporarily this month with the view of making the transfer permanent in the summer for around £26 million. 

Part of the furniture

Mario has been a main feature in Luciano Spalletti's side having made 14 appearances so far this season although the arrival of Rafinha from Barcelona on Tuesday could leave him on the sidelines. 

The 25-year-old joined Milan in the summer of 2016 from Sporting Clube de Portugal for £35 million having impressed in Portugal's European Championship win weeks before. 

With Hammers trio Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble all set for spells on the treatment table, Mario would add much needed depth to side as a combative player but also with the creativity in the final third.

 

 

Qualities West Ham lack

The tireless midfielder made a name for himself while at Sporting and on a brief loan spell at Portuguese Liga side Vitoria Setubal. 

However, he is not known for his prowess in front of goal and his three goals in 27 starts for Inter only highlights that.

Despite his goal-scoring deficiencies, Mario will act as a wall in front of West Ham's back four and the signing would be seen as quite the coup for the Hammers. 

Should Mario enter the Irons' ranks remains to be seen but sources remain confident the deal is expected to be announced by the end of the week. 

Moyes has struggled to find reinforcements for his midfield since the window opened and the Scotsman will be pleased as Mario would finally solve that ongoing dilemma.