Oh... Well, this is awkward... You again Joao Mario?
His last appearance in an Inter shirt is dated back to January 5th in a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina. In that game, Joao Mario received a 4 rating and was replaced after 65 minutes. His last day as an Inter player was January 25th because on the 26th, he went to West Ham United on loan.
Everyone was convinced that this was a goodbye, he was first and foremost: “I am not returning to Italy, the experience at Inter is now closed.” He said that in June. Yesterday, however, Joao Mario landed in Milan and today (at most Tuesday, should the medical exams take that long to finish), he will be at Appiano Gentile to train by himself, or better with Miranda and Vecino, the two other returns from post-World Cup vacation.
His return is not like that of a prodigal son. It makes no one happy. On social media, Inter fans have been putting him up for sale in many scenarios that would make Inter a better team. The player would join the fans to be honest: the only reason that he is back is that his contract only expires in 2021. Inter wanted to resolve this issue before the end of his vacation. The plans were clear: to sell the Portuguese midfielder outright to make some of that big investment of €40M two summers ago. However, no real offer has arrived but only more loan requests.
At the moment, there are four Premier League clubs on his trail: West Ham again, Wolverhampton, Everton and Bournemouth (there is also Spanish club Real Betis). With the end of the transfer market is approaching (in England, it ends on August 9th), the Nerazzurri could be satisfied with another loan in the end, this at least would save Inter part of his wage. Not ideal situation but at least it is better than just leaving him on the sidelines, someone that is not part of Luciano Spalletti’s plan.