Liverpool’s pursuit of Mario Gotze is a saga that has already run on for weeks and it’s still far from certain whether they will be successful in their chase for the German.
Gotze’s latest comments suggests that he is willing to remain at Bayern Munich and a report from Bild claims he regards Liverpool as a ‘backward step’ has thrown doubt over the proposed deal.
It means that Jurgen Klopp and the club have started to look elsewhere in the expectation that they can’t pull off a deal with Gotze.
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And, according to Portuguese outlet A Bola, their next target is Sporting Lisbon midfielder, Joao Mario.
The report claims that the Reds have joined Manchester United and Chelsea in expressing an interest in the 23-year-old and will face tough competition in order to secure his signature.
We all know that compilation YouTube videos can make any footballer look good, but seven minutes worth of skills certainly make Mario look an exciting prospect. Liverpool fans will no doubt be delighted after watching the video below:
Mario has only missed five league matches for Sporting over the previous two campaigns and scored six times during his 33 league appearances this season as his side narrowly missed out on the Portuguese Liga.
After this latest report, Kopites will be keeping a close eye on Mario during Portugal’s friendly against England at Wembley ahead of the European Championships where he is expected to start for Fernando Santos’ side.
Mourinho moving for Mario?
While the report states that Mourinho and United are interested in purchasing Mario, ‘The Special One’ has insisted he will not be signing any players from his native country.
There was speculation that Mourinho had previously phoned Mario regarding a possible transfer to Old Trafford but the talented midfielder refused to be drawn on any speculation.
“The only thing that interests me and worries me now regarding my future is the challenge we'll play,” he said.
“I’m very focused... so I won't talk about it. I'm placed in a group, my priority is to be at my best level in the Euros.
"Right now I feel calm, I feel good. It is the first time I play in the Euros, I am focused on this, if I were to think about it [transfer interest], I could not concentrate."