Inter Milan are reportedly willing to swap midfielder Joao Mario for Manchester United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the winter transfer window as manager Luciano Spalletti looks sustain his side's charge for the Serie A title.
Inter are enjoying one of their best seasons in years under former Roma manager Spalletti, who has led the Nerrazurri to the top of Serie A, one point ahead of vaunted Napoli and two ahead of current holders Juventus, who they played out a 0-0 draw with on the weekend.
Mauro Icardi and United target Ivan Perisic have both enjoyed exquisite form to help Inter surge back to prominence, but Spalletti is keen to alleviate some of the burden off the shoulders of the Argentine and Croat with some attacking reinforcements in January, according to Corriere Dello Sport, relayed by Football Italia, and is keen on the idea of bringing Mkhitaryan to the San Siro.
Former Borussia Dortmund star Mkhitaryan has failed to consistently show his best form since joining United from BVB in the summer of 2016 and finds himself in limbo at Old Trafford after a bright start to the season evaporated completely.
The Armenia international has not started for United since the beginning of November and is currently behind Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata in the pecking order under Jose Mourinho, who saw fit to freeze the 28-year-old out of contention for a substantial period of last season, too.
Rather than shell out a considerable sum of money for Mkhitaryan, who cost United £32m ($43m) last year, Inter are hoping to exchange Portugal midfielder Joao Mario for the playmaker. Mario, an expensive summer signing from Sporting Lisbon last season, has failed to establish himself in Spalletti's starting line-up, starting just four league matches so far this season.
The versatile 24-year-old was linked with a move to United before opting for the San Siro, but it remains to be seen if Mourinho sees fit to reignite his side's interest in his compatriot. The United boss did attempt to pilfer one of Inter's midfielders in the summer but the three-time European Cup winners had no interest in parting with prized playmaker Perisic, who signed a five-year deal in September.