Manchester United have set their sights on making an approach for Sporting midfielder Joao Mario in the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old has been in fine form for the Portuguese outfit and his impressive display has seen him attract interest from the Premier League.
According to the Daily Mail, incoming manager Jose Mourinho has set his sights on landing him as his compatriot is on the former Chelsea manager's shopping list. The Portuguese tactician is without a job since he was sacked from his post last December and that will change as he is expected to take charge at Old Trafford, replacing Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman has one year left on his contract and guided United to the FA Cup final, following their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Despite that, Van Gaal will be relieved of his duties and replaced with Mourinho.
United are not the only club interested in securing Mario's services. The Mail also claims the Red Devils' local rivals Manchester City, Mourinho's former club Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are in the mix to sign him.
Italian publication Tutto Mercato Web reported that Arsenal are also looking to sign the midfielder, whose contract with Sporting is set to expire in the summer of 2020. However, Mourinho remains hopeful of beating City, Chelsea, Liverpool and the Gunners for Mario's signature as he believes he can convince the Portuguese international to join United.
The ex-Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss has identified strengthening United's midfielder for the upcoming campaign and believes the addition of Sporting star can bolster the squad. Mario's father revealed the player has received several, but admitted that he could continue with his current employers beyond this summer transfer window.
"That's what we will evaluate when I meet Sporting. I'm in Luanda and I'll be back on Thursday, then we'll talk. Joao has offers but he can stay as well," Mario's father Joao Mario Eduardo told the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias.