Seven Sporting Lisbon players have terminated their own contracts sparking a wave of transfer speculation across Europe, including the Premier League.
It is in response to an attack at the club’s training ground by a group of 50 fans in May, which resulted in a head injury to Dutch striker Bas Dost, as well as minor injuries to a number of other players and staff.
Now Dost has joined with Ruben Ribeiro, Daniel Podence, and four members of Portugal’s World Cup squad – Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes – in effectively leaving on grounds of just cause, although, as The BBC reports, a court will need to determine if they have sufficient grounds for their actions.
The attack followed Sporting’s failure to seal a Champions League place on the last day of the season, and came on the back of the club’s president Bruno de Carvalho suspending 19 players in April after their Europa League defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Martins has been linked with a move to Liverpool and Arsenal, whilst Carvalho is said to interest both West Ham and Everton.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.