Liverpool had €40m transfer bid for Joao Mario rejected, claims Sporting Lisbon star's father

Joe Hall
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Joao Mario starred for Portugal at Euro 2016 (Source: Getty)

Liverpool have had a €40m (£33.6m) transfer bid for Portugal's Euro 2016 star Joao Mario rejected by Sporting Lisbon, according to the player's father.

Attacking midfielder Mario, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea this summer, started in six of Portugal's seven games in their victorious Euro 2016 campaign.

The 23-year-old is currently contracted to Sporting Lisbon and is believed to have a release clause of €60m.

According to Mario's father, Liverpool and Inter Milan have tested Sporting's resolve in holding out for a clause-triggering bid with smaller offers.

Read more: Liverpool owners FSG deny £700m offer from Chinese firm SinoFortone

​"Joao has had two concrete offers," Joao Mario's dad Eduardo told Portuguese newspaper A Bola.

"One from Inter, which was €35m plus €10m for objectives. That would be €45m. The club refused.

"And, after this refusal, I've been to the club twice. Then they received another bid, now from Liverpool of €40m, without objectives. The club refused again.

"Sporting have already had two bids which, despite not reaching the release clause's value, are of €35m plus €10m and €40m. I'm not saying they had to be accepted, but they needed to be taken seriously. But they didn't accept it."

Joao Mario Eduardo is also quoted in Portuguese paper Diario de Noticias as saying: "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."

Liverpool have already spent nearly £70m on new players this summer, with the large bulk of their outlay going on bolstering their attack with forward Sadio Mane and attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum signed from Southampton and Newcastle respectively for a combined £69m.

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