West Ham should only sign Joao Mario permanently if Inter’s demands are reasonable

According to reports in the Daily Star, West Ham United loanee Joao Mario, who is earning around £137,500-a-week according to Football Italia, via Claret and Hugh, has hinted that he is ready to join the east London outfit on a permanent deal this summer.

What’s the word, then?

West Ham midfielder Joao Mario looks on during defeat against Liverpool

Well, the Irons signed the Portugal international from Serie A giants Inter Milan on a temporary basis until the end of the season during the January transfer window, which was seen as a big coup considering he won Euro 2016 with his country just 18 months previously and cost the Italian club £35m later that same summer.

Now the Daily Star has reported quotes from the midfielder that suggest that he is enjoying life in the English capital and would be open to extending his stay with the Hammers, who are still in real danger of suffering relegation to the Championship ahead of their potentially season-defining fixtures at home to fellow strugglers Southampton on March 31.

What has Joao Mario said?

According to the Daily Star, the 25-year-old said: “I’m in a new league and I’m trying to adapt quickly. I’m happy with my new adventure and I hope to finish the season well.

“Inter are part of my past now. I could have played more, but football is about that too. Now I’m happy and that’s what matters most.”

How has he fared at West Ham?

He has done well considering he is getting used to a new league.

While he certainly hasn’t been an outstanding performer, he has certainly added some quality to the east London outfit both in the middle of the park and from a slightly more attacking point of view in his six appearances for them to date.

The Portugal international was dropped to the substitutes’ bench for the trip to Swansea City following the 4-1 loss against Liverpool at Anfield, and he faces plenty of competition for his place in the side despite his stature with Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and Javier Hernandez among those that will feel they should also be starting every game.

Should they sign him permanently?

Of course, much will depend on which division they find themselves in next season, and the fans are split on whether they should sign him permanently or not.

If they survive and can obtain the midfielder for a reasonable fee then they absolutely must get him, but if Inter are going to demand too much for his services they should look elsewhere for a player that may be more influential for them for a significant price.