Having cancelled his contract at Sporting Lisbon, Gelson Martins wants the club that signs him to cover any compensation fee.
Before we go into what this means for potential suitors like ourselves, it’s important to get an idea of the situation at Sporting Lisbon.
A large section of their fans, who weren’t happy with controversial and outspoken chairman Bruno de Carvalho, physically attacked players at the club’s training ground.
That incident and the lack of safety measures to prevent it, means players are in the unusual position of being able to cancel their contracts on the grounds of an unsafe environment.
For some players, as the cynic might suggest, this represents an excuse to get a bigger move and potentially earn more money than they normally would with no transfer fee involved.
Martins though, having been involved with Sporting since he was 15, was reluctant to leave in such an acrimonious circumstances. He has now cited “just cause” to do so having consulted with various lawyers to go over his options, but wants his new club to pay a fee to support their re-building process.
Corriere dello Sport report that Martins, who had a release clause of around £53m in his contract knows they might decide to go to court to seek compensation.
Manchester United have been linked with signing the speedy winger, as Jose Mourinho seeks to add pace and directness to our attack. Martins, 23, is one of the most sought after youngsters in world football with a number of top sides interested in signing him, plus Arsenal, but this latest condition may put off one or two suitors.
Sporting could request millions for Martins, who had a mega £53m release clause written into the deal he tore up; it’s not yet clear whether United would be willing to get embroiled in a court case to sign him.
Martins, currently with the Portugal squad for the World Cup, scored 13 times in 52 matches last term. He would certainly improve our squad but securing his signature would not be a simple task.