The Sporting Lisbon trio of midfielder William Carvalho, playmaker Bruno Fernandes and winger Gelson Martins are seeking to have their respective club contracts terminated.
The Portuguese internationals have already started the termination process before Thursday’s deadline thus putting other European giants on alert.
The players will follow in the footsteps of Portugal international goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who contacted the club 10 days ago to declare he wants out of his contract, after a £15.8million switch to newly Promoted Premier League side Wolves was stopped by Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho thereby leading to a war of words between the outspoken president and agency Gestifute, spearheaded by renowned football agent by Jorge Mendes.
Rui Patricio is now expected to join Nuno Santo’s Wolves on a free transfer in the coming days though he says his decision can be reversed if De Carvalho steps down as club president, a situation that’s unlikely to see the light of the day.
The Sporting Lisbon crisis first came into worldwide prominence when several club players were attacked by around 50 masked thugs at their training ground last month following the failure to book a spot in next season’s Champions League.
The aforementioned club president De Carvalho had earlier threatened to suspend a number of players after their UEFA Europa League (UEL) loss to Atletico Madrid.
On his ongoing tussle with the club, Patricio recently stated: “I was the victim of physical and psychological violence, so in order to preserve my personal and professional dignity, I wish to end the contract that ties me to Sporting.”
Another Sporting Lisbon Daniel Podence had also sent contract termination letters to both the club and the Portuguese Federation.
Dutch international Bas Dost has submitted his letters too thus becoming the first foreign player to do so.
All have submitted their contract termination requests within 30 days of the previously mentioned attack and within 24 hours of de Carvalho threatening legal action against anyone that attempts to do so, therefore, putting the club at the risk of losing more than £100million worth of talent for nothing.
Carvalho, Fernandes and Martins have all been linked with big money moves to other European clubs, especially Premier League sides.
A former club medic and potential presidential candidate if de Carvalho steps down, Federico Varandas while speaking on the chaos with Portuguese newspaper Ojogo said: “This is a nightmare. Sporting can not continue to be managed by Bruno de Carvalho.”
Former president Jose Dias Ferreira also told Record: “The president was not satisfied with the terminations that have already occurred and still challenged people to new ones.”
“The only good news I can receive is the president’s departure, the other ones are just disasters.” He further stated.
“He [de Carvalho] is taking Sporting to the abyss,” said Jaime Marta Soares, chairman of the General Assembly Board of Sporting.