Man United close to sealing £45m deal to make Portugal ace Joao Maria first summer signing

The 23-year-old has a £45m release clause in his contract and United are ready to meet that and hand him a long-term deal worth £140,000 a week.

Mario – who has eight Portugal caps – has made 37 appearances for Sporting this season, scoring seven goals.

Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho does not want to sell Mario but knows he is powerless to stop any club meeting his buy-out clause.

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