We all realized it was actually happening when photos (and tweets) emerged of Joao Mario and Gabriel Barbosa arriving in Milan, but now it is official. Sporting Club de Portugal announced on their website that Mario has officially joined the Nerazzurri.
After negotiations had stalled as to the format of the deal which was originally supposed to be some variation of a loan+obligation to buy, Inter decided to just swallow the costs and buy the 23 year old immediately. Suning will pay Sporting Club €40m with another €5m in bonuses. Eventually the new owners decided that this would be a good chance to show Inter fans that they have the means and willingness to splash cash, plus the rumored exception to FFP of not registering him for the Europa League certainly helped.
This transfer brings Mario’s 14 years at Sporting to an end. He was an influential midfielder both for the club and for Portugal’s National Team this summer when they won Euro 2016. Inter fans should be excited both to see what Joao Mario brings to the club and for what the future holds for this team. This (and the Gabriel Barbosa signing) was a major signal of intent for Suning. Though the team might take a while to gel, Frank De Boer has a formidable squad at his disposal and silverware shouldn't be far around the corner.