By Amir Mir
Liverpool are still keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario, according to a report.
Sky Sports claimed on their transfer blog on Thursday night that the Merseysiders (10.35pm) are eyeing a fresh move for the Euro 2016 winner.
This comes after Mario’s father claimed, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, that Jurgen Klopp’s team had offered £33million for the Portugal international.
Sky claim it will take an increased bid of at least £35million to lure the playmaker to Anfield.
Mario’s father stated that the highly-rated midfielder is a professional who is very valuable to the Portuguese club, but does have big aspirations of his own.
“Proposals for the lad don’t come directly to me,” said Mario’s father as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “They go to his agent, Kia Joorabchian, and the Sporting President. I was informed, however, that the club said no to €35m plus €10m in bonuses from Inter and to €40m from Liverpool.”
“Nothing particular has happened, my son is a professional and knows he has a contract with Sporting.
“At the same time, we’re talking about a very valuable player for the club, who would aspire to bigger projects in the course of his career.”
Mario played in the final of Euro 2016 as his home country provided an upset by defeating hosts France in extra-time to claim their first every major tournament.
The energetic midfielder was a standout performer for his club last season as his six goals helped Sporting finish second behind rivals Benfica.
The versatile midfielder could be a great addition to Jurgen Klopp’s side as the 23-year-old’s high energy style would suit Klopp’s high pressing game.
If Liverpool are to land the Portugal international then they will have to beat off competition from Roberto Mancini’s Inter, who placed a higher offer for the midfielder
In other Liverpool transfer news, this Reds youngster will snub interest to stay at Anfield as he wants first-team football.