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Sporting midfielder Mario signs for Inter Milan for $50m

Statesman News Service |

Portugal midfielder Joao Mario has left Sporting Lisbon to join Inter Milan for a record 45 million euros ($50.3 million), the Italian football club announced on Sunday.

“We’re delighted to have Joao Mario at Inter,” Inter President Erick Thohir said in a statement.

“He’s a top player and we’d been tracking him for a long time. He’ll further reinforce what is already a very strong squad.”

The deal, described as "the record figure for a transfer of a Portuguese premier division player," exceeded previous deals for Renato Sanches, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe and Fabio Coentrao.

The 23-year-old Mario, who has been capped 18 times for his country, helped Portugal win the European Championship in France in July.

Mario will be presented to the fans ahead of Sunday evening’s Serie A match against Palermo at the San Siro stadium.

Mario spent his entire career at Sporting CP, save for a loan spell at Vitoria Setubal.