Five Sporting Lisbon players linked to Premier League with club in disarray
Sporting are currently in disarray, with players attempting to resign from their contracts after a season in which they were attacked by their own supporters and president Bruno de Carvalho briefly suspended the majority of the first team following a Europa League defeat to Atletico Madrid.
This has left a number of clubs on red alert, and we’ve taken a look at five players who could be on their way to England ahead of next season.
Currently attracting the majority of headlines amid the chaos at Sporting, Patricio is attempting to resign from the club and has even posted a 34-page letter explaining his motives – with newly-promoted Wolves leading the chase for the goalkeeper’s signature.
The Portugal goalkeeper says he has been “the target of psychological and physical violence, which constitutes just cause for me to be free of the contract with Sporting Clube de Portugal”.
An ugly back-and-forth has now developed between Sporting president De Carvalho and Jorge Mendes, with the latter rejecting accusations of “blackmail”.
It seems highly unlikely Patricio will now remain in Lisbon and after Napoli cooled their interest in the 30-year-old, a move to Molineux makes sense for all parties.
Rui Patrício to Napoli was done. ADL and Sarri's first choice. Ancelotti came in with other plans. Deal scuppered.
Wolves will now sign him as the first of many investments this summer. They're targeting a top half finish in the PL.
Incredible signing for Wolves. World class GK
— Nikolas (@NikolasAlek) May 31, 2018
Carvalho seems to have been linked with a move to the Premier League since the competition’s inception but this could finally be the year he arrives in Ol’ Blighty.
Having originally been rumoured to be on his way to Manchester United or Arsenal, the midfielder was subject to plenty of interest from West Ham in January.
The 26-year-old was thought to have made a similar move as Patricio in trying to rescind his contract at the Estádio José Alvalade.
According to Sky Sports, however, Sporting and the player’s representatives are instead actively seeking to arrange a transfer to the Premier League – with Everton the most likely destination.
The Portugal international played under new Toffees boss Marco Silva in 2014-15.
Sporting Lisbon are actively seeking a transfer for midfielder William Carvalho, there had been reports in the suggesting the 26 year old had cancelled his contract with Sporting but I’m told that’s not the case and both parties are trying to arrange a transfer to the PL
— Alan Myers (@ALANMYERSMEDIA) June 1, 2018
Another player who has been perennially linked with a move to the Premier League over the past few years, Martins has reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United and Liverpool in the past, but is now thought to be a target for Arsenal.
The winger is heading to the World Cup this summer coming off the back of his best and busiest season with Sporting.
A strong showing in Russia could convince one of the top six to finally take the plunge on the 23-year-old.
How come Sporting CP produce so many great wingers?
"Coaches limit touches for central players, who are encouraged to spread the ball wide into wingers, who have unlimited touches to create chances from wide."
Futre, Figo, Simao, Nani, Quaresma, Ronaldo, Bruma & Gelson Martins. pic.twitter.com/RodUSXjDBc
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) May 27, 2018
Like Martins, Fernandes is travelling to Russia as one of the players to have played the most minutes at club level last season.
Attacking midfielder Fernandes made 56 appearances in all competitions, scoring 16 goals, breaking into the Portugal set-up and winning his first cap in November.
Reports in Portugal last month suggested Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid are all monitoring the 23-year-old, who joined Sporting from Sampdoria last summer.
— Lateral Esquerdo (@lateralesquerdo) May 30, 2018
Reports in January suggested Sporting rejected a £13million bid from West Brom for Battaglia, who also only moved to the Portuguese capital last summer.
At the same time as the Baggies failed bid, the Argentina Under-20 international was also thought to be on the radar of West Ham, and those rumours resurfaced in April.
After making almost 60 appearances in Sporting’s midfield last term, Serie A trio Inter, Roma and Napoli were also linked with Battaglia.
The Hammers are pursuing a move for PSG’s attacking midfielder Javier Pastore, but Battaglia could be an option to anchor the midfield alongside his compatriot.
Burnley have also been mooted as a potential destination.
— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) May 1, 2018