Everton manager Marco Silva has ruled out a summer move for Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario.
The Toffees picked up 10 points without conceding a goal in four home games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United at the end of the season, recovering from what had initially been a testing 2018/19.
Joao Mario not in Silva’s plans: Five key things to know…
- Joao Mario has made 20 Serie A appearances for Inter this season.
- But only 12 of those have been from the start.
- Silva worked with the midfielder during their spell together at Sporting CP during the 2014/15 season.
- Joao Mario spent the second half of last season on loan with West Ham in the Premier League.
- But Silva has stated a move for Joao Mario is ‘off the table’.
That late run saw Everton finish eighth in the Premier League and rather than resting on his laurels, Silva has already vowed to ‘attack the market’ this summer.
However, the Portuguese has stated his compatriot is not one of his targets, despite previously playing under Silva at Sporting CP.
“There are specific positions where we want to improve,” Silva said.
“Joao Mario is an Inter player and there’s nothing else to it. He was my player, I was the one who gave him his debut for Sporting [CP].
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“He’s had a very good season, he’s at a high level for the club he plays, but right now he’s not on the table.”
Joao Mario has started just 12 of his 20 Serie A appearances this season with Inter currently sat two points clear of rivals AC Milan in fourth with one game remaining.
Silva: Everton must be realistic
Silva will be keen to build on a positive end to this Premier League campaign when Everton head into the 2019/20 season but to do that, the Toffees must add more strength and depth to compliment the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison.
Retaining the likes of Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma beyond their current loan deals will be vital but Silva has stressed that despite the club’s ambitions, they must also remain realistic with their transfer plans.
“I am a really ambitious coach but I like to look at everything in a realistic way. I know what is our history and culture as a football club but I like to be honest,” Silva said recently.
“We have to make the right steps to achieve being a top four team. For us to be ready to challenge them we have to keep making the right steps but look in a realistic way.
“I don’t have doubts, right now, that we are a stronger team than at the beginning of the season. Our players, now, are in a different level than when they started the season, it is my job to do that.
“Of course, we need a strong market. It will be tough for us. We want to keep two key players who are on loan, we want to attack the market well. It is part of the job, part of the steps.
“When you finish the season strong, you just have one way to go for next season, to improve. It is what I want, to improve what we did this season and it must be our target.
“The next market will be key for us and to keep our level.”