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Miranda, Mario and Vecino return to training with Inter Milan

Transfer clouds loom over Mario and Vecino.

(Front to back): Joao Miranda, Matias Vecino and Joao Mario train at Appiano Tuesday.
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Internationals Joao Miranda, Joao Mario and Matias Vecino all returned to the Appiano to train with Inter Milan Tuesday.

While Miranda is expected to sign a new contract with the Nerazzurri, transfer speculation looms large over Mario and Vecino.

Inter Milan defender Joao Miranda (foreground) trains with midfielder Joao Mario (background) at Appiano Tuesday.
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Prior to the World Cup, Mario suggested he would never play in Italy again and he has demanded a transfer away from Inter.

Since then, the Portuguese international has been linked with moves to West Ham — the club he was loaned to for the last half of last season — Wolverhampton, Everton, Bournemouth and, now Sporting.

Portuguese daily A Bola, via Football Italia, have claimed that Sporting Lisbon has identified Mario as a top target as the transfer window winds down. Mario joined Inter from Sporting in 2016 for €40 million. It isn’t likely that Inter will recover the full amount, but Sporting is interested nonetheless.

Inter, on the other hand, appear to have locked in a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, who would serve as a replacement to Mario.

If Inter could part with Mario to whichever club wants to pony up the money, the proceeds could go to help in their pursuit of Vidal.

Vecino, who is fresh off playing for Uruguay in the World Cup, is another midfielder being linked with a move away from the San Siro.

Chelsea’s new manager, Maurizio Sarri has reportedly started to make overtures to Inter over Vecino. The two have history as Vecino was on the roster for Empoli when Sarri was its manager.

Inter is seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of €35 million for Vecino — who scored three goals for the Nerazzurri last season. His contract with Inter runs through the 2020-21 season.

Miranda appears to be the only one of the three internationals who returned to training Tuesday who will remain with Inter as the squad looks to give the Brazilian international a new contract. Reports suggest the new deal will keep Miranda with Inter through 2020 and pay him nearly €3 million per season.

The only big question mark is with Vecino. Sarri has just nine days to complete any transfer as the Premier League transfer window closes on Aug. 9. It may prove to be difficult to get a deal done in that short amount of time.

As for Mario, I don’t think the question is whether he will leave but rather which club will he go to. Premier League interest has cooled a bit as West Ham appear to be out. Wolverhampton was the most recent club with interest, but talk has also died down. That leaves Sporting. If the Portuguese outfit is willing to pay, I can see a deal moving quickly.

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