Everton reportedly want Joao Mario, and they boast potential trump card

Uruguay's midfielder Nahitan Nandez (R) vies for the header with Portugal's midfielder Joao Mario during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Uruguay and Portugal...

The reported Premier League race for ex-West Ham loanee Mario is hotting up.

Portugal's midfielder Joao Mario (L) looks on as Uruguay's forward Edinson Cavani (R) reacts to a foul during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Uruguay and...

Everton have reportedly joined the race to sign Inter Milan playmaker Joao Mario with West Ham United yet to make his loan deal a permanent one - which has seen the Portuguese World Cup star return to Italy.

The 25-year-old scored two goals and created another during his 15 Premier League appearances for the Hammers under David Moyes, but new boss Manuel Pellegrini has so far declined to sign Mario.

However, a move to the London Stadium could still materialise while Italian outlet GazzaMercato claim Everton and Bournemouth have joined the race to sign the former Sporting Lisbon star for a fee believed to be worth £22million.

Marco Silva, Manager of Watford looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Watford at Etihad Stadium on January 2, 2018 in Manchester, England.

Everton could prove a tantalising option to Mario, after working with new Toffees boss Marco Silva at Sporting. But the Toffees do boast what could prove to be a trump card in the race to sign Mario.

Indeed, Inter are interested in Toffees flop Davy Klaassen, according to TuttoMercatoWeb in April, after the Holland international struggled to prove even a tenth of his huge £25million transfer fee.

The former Ajax captain joined Everton after guiding Ajax to the Europa League final, but struggled in his early appearances for the Merseyside outfit and ended up being ostracised by Sam Allardyce.

Everton's Turkish striker Cenk Tosun (L), Everton's Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen (C) and Everton's Croatian striker Nikola Vlasic make a walkabout on the field after the English Premier...

He managed just 61 minutes of Premier League action from October onwards, and is likely to be on the lookout for a move unless he is given assurances of a second chance under Silva.

But if Silva is indeed keen to form a reunion with Mario, then Klaassen could be used as Everton's trump card to fend off other sides and capture the Portugal Euro 2016 winner's signature.

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