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Why have Sporting Lisbon’s FOUR best players just terminated their contacts?

William Carvalho, Bas Dost, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes have all filed notice that they were breaking their contracts

If you thought your club were having a tough time of it, spare a thought for Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese giants are currently engulfed in a crisis scarcely believable in the upper echelons of modern football.

Because this is Sunday League stuff.


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The man behind the madness

Reuters
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The man behind the madness

Last month about 50 of the club’s toughest ultras forced their way into the team’s training ground, assaulting both playing and staff members.

Bas Dost – the club’s top scorer in the last couple of seasons – was left with a nasty head injury as police eventually detained more than 20 suspects.

Bas Dost appears to have picked up two nasty cuts in an alleged attack

TWITTER/CM
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Dost was attacked by ultras

The fan violence all stemmed from criticism made by Sporting’s president Bruno De Carvalho in April, who slammed the players’ performances in a Europa League tie with Atletico Madrid.

The players showed solidarity in defence of their displays but were duly suspended for their actions.

Now, according to recent reports, Dost, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins have all announced they will terminate their contracts with the club.

Fernandes is part of the Portugal World Cup squad

Getty Images - Getty
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Fernandes is part of the Portugal World Cup squad

They follow in the footsteps of captain and goalkeeper Rui Patricio and Daniel Podence who did the same a couple of weeks ago, whilst Sporting manager Jorge Jesus has left for Al-Hilal.

It leaves one of Portugal’s most famous clubs in utter disarray.

Carvalho, Fernandes and Martins are all part of Portugal’s World Cup squad and a target for a number of European clubs.

Martins has been a target for Liverpool in the past

AFP or licensors
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Martins has been a target for Liverpool in the past

Carvalho is a familiar name in the transfer window

EPA
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Carvalho is a familiar name in the transfer window

Sporting reportedly even turned down a €30m offer from Arsenal last week for the latter, who is now available for free.

This is a club famous for producing Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, to name just a few.

Now they’re facing an existential crisis like no other, with this just the tip of the iceberg.


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