Sporting have yet to sell their hero Bruno Fernandes despite plenty of interest from elite clubs all over Europe. He’s not the only player set to leave the Alvalade this season with some big names also rumoured to depart.
However, Luís Neto, Luciano Vietto, Valentín Rosier and exciting prospect Rafael Camacho have all arrived to bolster the squad but could Eduardo Henrique and Lucas Robertone be joining them shortly?
PortuGOAL gives an update on Sporting’s transfer dealings in preparation for the 2019/2020 season.
Sporting is having a busy summer with four signings made so far but there is surely more business to come with the inevitable sale of Bruno Fernandes. The Lions’ skipper hit an incredible 32 goals from midfield last season and wherever he goes the goals will surely continue to flow. Sport betting sites such as sbobet88 even use algorithmic trading strategies to give enormous odds on these single players for the number of goals scored in a match.
The midfield maestro’s future seems not to be a question of if he will leave the club but when, to where, and for how much. It’s a story that has seen the Portugal man linked to clubs all over Europe with the northwest of England the most likely destination. The player is believed to prefer a move to the Premier League with Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool all regularly associated although he has been linked to clubs in Italy and Spain.
The eventual sale of Bruno Fernandes will be a big test for Sporting president Frederico Varandas. Despite winning the Taça da Liga and the Taça de Portugal the club’s league form was disappointing and Varandas certainly has his critics amongst sections of the fans. The amount of money can he get for a player like Bruno Fernandes is hugely significant, especially in a summer where the João Félix appears to be on the move for €120m from city rivals Benfica.
Rumours have persisted about some of Sporting’s other top talents too. Bas Dost could be sold, but the Dutch striker is believed to only want a move to a major league. Marcos Acuña has also sparked interest from abroad but the club will be desperate to keep him.
One player confirmed to be leaving the club is Romain Salin, the backup goalkeeper’s contract has expired and he has returned to his native France to join Rennes. Spanish side Leganés have also signed Argentinian left back Jonathan Silva for a fee of €3m after a successful loan spell. Finally, highly regarded youngster Félix Correia is set to leave the club according to latest reports, O Jogo has the 18 year old winger departing for €7m.
There are other departures to still solve, with a wage bill to reduce and driftwood to remove. The likes of Radosav Petrovic, André Pinto, Jefferson, Ryan Gauld, André Geraldes, Mattheus Oliveira, and Carlos Mané could all be sold. Emiliano Viviano has done well on his loan to SPAL in Italy but he seems like his Sporting career is never destined to be, a move to Fiorentina has been rumoured.
Looking at those coming into the club, experienced defender Luís Neto arrived on a free from Zenit St. Petersburg in a deal that was done back in January. Neto was something of a cult hero with Zenit fans and many thought his arrival would spell the end of Jérémy Mathieu’s time at the Alvalade but the Frenchman renewed his contract with the club this summer. Sebastián Coates also looks to stay so January signing Tiago Ilori will be vying with youngsters Domingos Duarte and Ivanildo Fernandes to make the squad.
Luciano Vietto arrives from Atlético de Madrid for €7m. There has been scepticism from some Sporting fans of the quality of the Argentinian after an unimpressive spell at Fulham in the Premier League. It will be down to Marcel Keizer to unlock the talent that Vietto showed at Villarreal, which could also see a change in formation from the Dutch coach.
French U21 defender Valentín Rosier arrived from Dijon, in a deal that saw Mama Baldé head in the opposite direction. The 22-year old will boost Sporting’s depth at right back with the often-suspended Stefan Ristovski, possibly departing Bruno Gaspar, and youngster Thierry Correia as the competition for Rosier.
Sporting's new number 7
Sporting also captured Liverpool’s Rafael Camacho, who is sent to wear the "cursed" number 7 shirt (worn by Shikabala, Rúben Ribeiro and company). There had been talks of a loan deal for Camacho back in January but the former Sporting youth product had to wait for his return to Portugal. The player’s contract at the Merseyside club was due to expire in summer 2020 so an exit seemed inevitable with Sporting having apparently fought off competition from Wolves, RB Leipzig, and Benfica for Camacho’s signature.
At just 19 years old there is still a lot of potential to unlock in Rafael Camacho and the winger is capable of deputising at right back, although as his famous Instagram post made it very clear that it isn’t his preferred role. Jürgen Klopp had described the player as good in defensive challenges despite being an offensive player in his mindset. With that in mind he could offer a similar solution on the right side of the pitch that Marcos Acuña provides on the left.
In a deal that the Portuguese press thinks is imminent, Internacional defensive midfielder Eduardo Henrique is set to arrive at the club. The Brazilian was on loan to Belenenses SAD last season but has been linked to Sporting for a long time. With Nemanja Gudelj’s spell at the club not being made permanent it looks like Eduardo Henrique will be taking up the defensive duties in midfield from now on.
One name frequently mentioned with Sporting has been 22-year old Argentinian midfielder Lucas Robertone. The Vélez Sarsfield player has certainly set his eyes on moving to Europe, including a dispute with his club over a move, and could be a replacement for Bruno Fernandes. However, with Francisco Geraldes once again going on out loan, this time at AEK Athens, Marcel Keizer will still be wanting reinforcements for his position.
Of course, Sporting can’t forget the promising players who have recently returned from loan, some will perhaps have their last chance to convince Sporting. The likes of Iuri Medeiros, Matheus Pereira, Domingos Duarte, Ivanildo Fernandes, and Gelson Dala have all flirted with becoming fixtures in the first team squad but have yet to stake a claim. Then there are younger players who have impressed and could make a case for staying, Elves Baldé and Daniel Bragança being the two most notable to return to the club. In particular, a lot of fans are excited with the prospect of seeing central midfielder Daniel Bragança graduate to the first team.
by Richard Cole