Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte are going head to head in a race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario with both managers being reported to be readying bids for the Portuguese winger in the past seven days.
An initial bid of £33 million from Liverpool was reported to have been rejected earlier in the summer according to the Daily Star. A fresh bid was then said to have been in the works, when the Daily Express reported on comments made by the player’s father last Friday.
According to the Express, Mario’s father revealed that Lisbon are unlikely to accept offers under £50 million for the Portuguese star who has become one of the worlds most highly sought after player following an impressive Euro 2016.
Speaking about the interest in his son, he stated: ‘They go to his agent, Kia Joorabchian, and the Sporting President. I was informed, however, that the club said no to a €35m (£29.3m) bid plus €10m (£8.4m) in bonuses from Inter and €40m (£33.5m) from Liverpool.
A Daily Telegraph article today reported that Chelsea are now getting involved, launching a £39 million for Mario and alleging that the player would prefer a move to the Premier League over a move elsewhere in Europe.
The article stated that Inter have also put in a bid to match Chelsea’s offer with an additional £4 million in bonuses on top.
Liverpool boss Klopp may need to get his skates on with a new bid if he is to avoid missing out on this 23-year-old Euro winning star.