Allen replacement targeted? Joao Mario's father claims Liverpool's £33.5m bid has failed

Sporting Lisbon's Joao Mario celebrates goal against Bayer Leverkusen.

Liverpool have allegedly had a £33.5m bid for Joao Mario rejected.

France's Paul Pogba in action with Portugal's Joao MarioFrance's Paul Pogba in action with Portugal's Joao Mario

The father of Sporting midfielder Joao Mario has told Diario de Noticias in his native Portugal that Liverpool have failed with a €40m (£33.5m) bid for the player.

The Reds sold Joe Allen to Stoke City on Monday evening, and manager Jurgen Klopp may well be looking to bring in another central midfielder as a replacement.

Sporting Lisbon's Joao Mario celebrates goal against Bayer Leverkusen.Sporting's Joao Mario celebrates goal against Bayer Leverkusen

Even after splashing the cash on Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane in the final third, Klopp may still have money to spend, and he appears to have set his sights on one of the stars of Euro 2016.

Midfielder Joao Mario played a key role for Portugal as they stunned everybody and won the European Championships, and his performances in France have triggered major interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

Sporting Lisbon's Joao Mario celebrates goal against Bayer Leverkusen.Sporting's Joao Mario celebrates goal against Bayer Leverkusen

The Sporting star, who hit six league goals from midfield last season, looks destined for a big move at some stage, but it may not be this summer, as the Portuguese giants are standing firm in rejecting offers for the player.

Joao Mario's father and representative has spoken to newspaper Diario de Noticias about the situation, and revealed that the club have rejected offers from Inter Milan and Liverpool, with the Reds offering €40m (£33.5m) for the player - which seemingly isn't enough to strike a deal.

However, he did admit that the player is keen to make a step up in his career, but will remain professional whilst he has a contract with Sporting.

Portugal's Joao Mario in action with Poland's Jakub BlaszczykowskiPortugal's Joao Mario in action with Poland's Jakub Blaszczykowski

"Proposals for the lad don’t come directly to me," said Joao Mario Eduardo. "They go to his agent, Kia Joorabchian, and the Sporting President. I was informed, however, that the club said no to €35m plus €10m in bonuses from Inter and to €40m from Liverpool. Nothing particular has happened, 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," he added.

After such a huge offer, it's hard to see Liverpool coming back with an improvement on £33.5m for Joao Mario. An energetic, technically impressive midfielder, the 23-year-old would be a superb addition to the Liverpool midfield after Allen's departure, but Klopp may prefer to pursue cheaper alternatives now.

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