Manchester United can forget about signing of their key summer targets as Arsenal according to TuttoMercatoWeb are set to activate the release clause of 8 times capped Portugual international Joao Mario. Manchester United have reportedly scout Joao Mario so many times in the last few weeks and were hoping to make a move for him once the transfer window opens but if TuttoMercatoWeb is to be believed, the player might be on his way to Arsenal instead.
Joao Mario has been in impressive form for Sporting Lisbon this season scoring five goals and creating nine assists for his team mates in just 29 appearances. The high rated 23-year-old only recently signed a new contract with Sporting which will see him tied to the club till at least 2020 but this has not stopped Arsenal and Manchester United from wanting to sign him.
With Rosicky, Flamini and Arteta likely to be released at the end of this season and doubts still hanging on the heads of Joel Campbell, Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, Arsenal are likely to be in the market for new midfielders. The Gunners have already been linked to the signing of Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka who according to daily mirror the Gunners have tabled a 24 million bid for.
We will never know if Joao Mario is a Plan B but if the likes of Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini will be leaving, then Arsenal will probably need more than one midfielder hence the links to Joao Mario makes a lot of sense. And with United likely not to be in the Champions league next season, Arsenal have a massive advantage in the race for the signature of the Portuguese.
The only problem to this deal happening is the amount of money that is likely to be involed. Although TuttoMercatoWeb claims Arsenal will be activating the £55m release-clause, I personally do not how Wenger will be willing to pay that much for him.