According to the Daily Sun, Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Manchester United and Liverpool target Joao Mario, and the west London club are reportedly lining-up a £46m bid for the Sporting Lisbon

The Portuguese international has developed into one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Portugal since breaking into the Sporting first team in 2014, bagging 6 goals and notching 11 assists to help the Portuguese club push Benfica all the way in the Primeira Liga title race last season.

The midfielder went on with his excellent form into this summer’s European Championships and he featured six times as Portugal lifted the trophy with a shocking 1 – 0 win over France last weekend.

Mario has caught the attention of some to European clubs, with reports earlier this week from Mirror saying that Liverpool and Manchester United are interested in signing the player this summer.

The Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp has also been seen to be extremely active in the transfer market this summer as he is keen on bringing in new reinforcements to the squad left behind by the former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

However, the German coach has seemingly identified Mario as a potential new target with Jordon Ibe heading to Bournemouth and Joe Allen tipped to face the exit door at the Anfield over the coming weeks.

Jose Mourinho has been busy putting his own stamp on the west London club squad but the Portuguese has reportedly identified Mario as a potential new recruit and the new Red Devils boss is also believed to be keen on strengthening his midfield options ahead of next season.

However, it looks as though Liverpool and United will now face stiff competition as the Sun claim that Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Mario and are lining-up a £46m offer for the midfielder.

Blues new boss Antonio Conte is getting himself prepared for a busy few weeks as he tries to boost his attacking options using his preferred formation, which is tipped to be 3-5-2.
The Portuguese star is mainly used on the wing as an attacking midfielder, but he’s also capable of playing in the middle of the park, so he’d give the boss plenty of options if he does end up chosing a move to the Stamford Bridge.

We’ll have to wait and see if the reported £46m bid comes to fruition, but until the Blues get a deal agreed there is still time for the likes of Liverpool or Manchester United to formalize their interest in the Portuguese international.