Joao Mario’s Inter contract may be a thing of the past, but the Portuguese midfielder is still causing the Nerazzurri headaches. Sporting CP, the club Inter originally bought Mario from, announced today that it prepared to sue Inter over a breach of contract following the 28-year-old’s signing with Benfica.
OFFICIAL - Sporting: “Inter has rejected our proposal, has terminated with Joao Mario to have him signed for Benfica. It is our belief that an expedient has been used to circumvent a clause signed in 2016. We will defend the interests of the club in the appropriate forums”
“In 2016, Inter and Joao Mario agreed to pay an additional €30 million in the event of a transfer to another Portuguese club. We will defend the club’s interests for the damage caused and for the violations of the obligations underwritten”
Inter shortly responded with a statement of its own.
MILAN – FC Internazionale Milano is aware of the statement released to the media by Sporting Clube de Portugal.
The comments are unacceptable, extremely serious and – most importantly – without basis in truth.
The club will protect its image and reputation in the relevant forums.
Sporting seems to think that Inter is violating the clause that blocks the Nerazzurri from selling Mario to another Portuguese club, even though he joined Benfica as a free agent. According to Porto-based paper O Jogo, the €4 million in agent fees that Inter owes to Federico Pastorello will be paid by Benfica, instead of a transfer fee. It’s up to Sporting to prove that tradeoff violates the clause in Joao Mario’s deal but no matter what argument Sporting tries to make, Inter’s lawyers are surely up to the task.