Sporting smash transfer record for Swedish striker Gyökeres

Weeks of negotiations ended today as Sporting signed Viktor Gyökeres from Coventry City for a club record transfer fee of €20 million plus a possible further €4 million in add-ons.

The 25-year-old Swedish striker has signed a 5-year contract, which has a €100 million release clause. 

“Sporting is a historical club and when I learned they were interested in me it was an easy choice,” said Gyökeres. 

“I had other offers, but I felt this was the club that most wanted me and when someone really wants you, it means they will take care of you.”

The centre-forward, who also has Hungarian nationality, moved from Sweden to England in 2017 after impressing for Brommapojkarna in the Swedish second tier, signing for Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Unable to break into the Brighton first team, Gyökeres had spells on loan at St. Pauli in Germany and Swansea City back in the UK, but it was when he moved to Coventry that his career took off.   

The striker arrives in Portugal off the back of two free-scoring seasons. In 2022/23 Gyökeres scored 22 goals and provided 12 assists for the Sky Blues as the midlands club narrowly failed to win promotion to the Premier League, losing the playoff final in a penalty shootout. 

The signing will please Sporting fans who have long been critical of coach Rúben Amorim’s overreliance on the previous record signing Paulinho. Also a centre-forward, Paulinho’s all-round contribution is unquestioned but his goal output has been below par. Last season the former Portugal international scored 5 goals in 22 Primeira Liga matches.

Viktor Gyökeres has been attributed the No. 9 shirt in a clear indication that he will be the club’s main striker.

by Tom Kundert