João Mário: “We are a strong side and we have the quality to win”


João Mário gave an exclusive interview to Mediaset yesterday in which he previewed this weekend’s Coppa Italia clash against Benevento. The Inter midfielder was also full of praise for the manner in which Luciano Spalletti has welcomed him back into the fold following the uncertainty of last summer’s transfer window. Here is what the Portuguese international had to say:

“We always play to win. We want to do well in the new year and we now have two important cups that we must try to win. Benevento have given their all to be able to play this match, therefore, we’ll have to pay maximum attention. If we want to reach the final then obviously, we’ll have to win.”

The former Sporting CP schemer then discussed his recent performances since his return to the Nerazzurri squad against Lazio in October: “Thanks to the coach and my teammates, I’ve regained my confidence and I’m now enjoying a positive spell. I was ready when I started against Lazio and it went well for both myself and the team.”

Finally, the 25-year-old spoke about the Beneamata’s objectives for the rest of the season: “Right from the beginning, we knew that we were a strong side. We’re always battling to improve our league position. I always look to make sure I’m ready and my focus is already on the next match. That is the most important thing for me.”

Meanwhile, the ex-West Ham United loanee is back in the headlines today as he once again finds himself linked with a San Siro exit before the current transfer window closes at the end of January. Indeed, according to the latest reports from Turkish news outlet Milliyet, João Mário has been offered to Süper Lig giants Beşiktaş. The Istanbul club’s president, Fikret Orman, is currently in Italy looking to complete the signing of AC Milan’s Alen Halilović. It has been suggested by various sources that the idea of landing JM is on standby.

However, given their current financial situation, it is unlikely that the Black Eagles would be able to afford the Inter player without offloading one or two members of their own squad beforehand. Irrespective of who they manage to offload, there is very little chance of them being able to offer anything more than a loan deal as things stand. Considering how important a player João Mário has proved to be since establishing himself as a regular in Spalletti’s starting XI, it makes no sense for Inter to let him leave unless they manage to recoup a significant portion of the €40 million fee they shelled out soon after Suning first took the club over back in the summer of 2016.

Having scored one goal and contributed three assists throughout a period in which he has started eight of the Nerazzurri’s last ten matches, JM has proved himself to be a hugely productive member of the squad and, given his recent form, his departure is something that the club should not even contemplate.

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