Report: Southampton in pole position for ex-West Ham loanee Joao Mario

Mark Hughes, manager of Southampton is seen on the touchline during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on April 8, 2018 in London, England.

Southampton have reportedly joined the race for the Inter Milan man.

Joao Mario of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Southampton at London Stadium on March 31, 2018 in...

West Ham United have it all to do if they want to bring Joao Mario back to the London Stadium this summer after last season’s promising loan spell from Inter Milan.

Tuttosport claimed that the Serie A giants were willing to let Mario go to West Ham’s bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur as part of the deal that would take Moussa Dembele to the San Siro, while Gazzamercato also credited Everton with an interest.

Now, there are two more names to add into the mix – South Coast rivals Southampton and Bournemouth.

Joao Mario of FC Internazionale Milano looks on during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Spal at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 10, 2017 in Milan, Italy.

Stadio Sport have added to the claims from elsewhere that an Inter side under pressure from Financial Fair Play are keen to sell a player who never really settled in Italy following his £38 million move from Sporting Lisbon after Portugal’s victorious Euro 2016 campaign.

And it is understood that both Southampton and Bournemouth are in a good position with a concrete offer set to arrive in the coming days.

Mark Hughes, manager of Southampton is seen on the touchline during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on April 8, 2018 in London, England.

25-year-old Mario is a versatile forward who is perhaps best suited to playing behind the striker. He scored just twice in 13 Premier League games for West Ham but impressed with his balance and vision.

Therefore, Mario could be the man to replace the seemingly departing Dusan Tadic at Southampton or give Bournemouth the creativity to get the best out of their talented group of strikers.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch