SPORTING B 1-2 Vizela

Sporting B’s difficult start to the Segunda Liga season continued with a home defeat to Vizela.

It was a dull game in Alcochete that took until the second half to really get going. Bilel Aouacheria had the first chance on goal when he hit the post.

However Vizela took the lead from the penalty spot midway through the second half. Mama Baldé fouled Filipe Augusto. Elízio converted past Pedro Silva to put the visitors in the lead.

Just 5 minutes later and the visitors scored again. This time Mário Mendonça set up Kukula to make it 2-0.

Sporting did manage to pull one goal back but it was too late in the game to make a difference. Substitute Pedro Empis was fouled in the area by Diogo Lamelas. Leonardo Ruiz stepped up and converted the penalty, the Colombian’s first goal for Sporting.

Sporting’s youngsters need to improve over the international break to avoid a possible relegation struggle. Their next game is away to Varzim on the 11th September.

SPORTING B XI: Pedro Silva; Mama Baldé, Guilherme Ramos (Edu Pinheiro, 80′), Ivanildo Fernandes, David Sualehe; Ricardo Guima, Fábio Martins; Bilel Aouacheria (Pedro Empis, 70), Elves Baldé; Leonardo Ruiz, Ricardo Almeida (Pedro Marques, 70′)
Substitutes Not Used: Vladimir Stojković, Boubakar Kouyaté, Bruno Paz, Budag Nasyrov

Sporting Sign Luc Castaignos, Bas Dost and Pedro Delgado and Other News

It was a very busy weekend off the pitch as as as Sporting completed 3 transfer deals.

First, Bas Dost signed from Wolfsburg on a 4-year contract with a €60,000,000 release clause. The Dutch striker will certainly become the replace to Islam Sllimani, with the Algerian set to depart.  The transfer fee is believed to be in the region of €10m. Bas Dost scored 47 goals in 115 appearances for Wolfsburg and has so far made 6 appearances for the Netherlands national team.

Pedro Delgado signed from Internazionale with Sporting holding 50% of the rights of the player. The 19-year old signs a 2-year contract with an option for 3 more and a release clause of €45,000,000. Delgado, who briefly played for Sporting’s youth system as well as with Portimonense will begin at the B team.

Delgado could make his debut for the B team later today in the game against Vizela.

In what will presumably be Sporting’s last transfer of the season Luc Castaignos joined from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Dutch forward signs a 3 year contract with the option of 2 more and a release clause of €60,000,000. No word yet of a transfer fee, but along with André and Joel Campbell, Castaignos is another reinforcement to what will be a brand new attacking line-up for Jorge Jesus. Castaignos scored 5 goals in 17 games in Germany last season.

Islam Slimani looked set to complete his move to Leicester City. The club’s chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was apparently at the Alvalade during the game against Porto to complete the move.

Finally, Carlos Mané has apparently agreed to a 2-year loan to Stuttgart. Mané came off from the bench against Porto but has found game time difficult to come by at Sporting the arrival of Jorge Jesus and the emergence of Gelson Martins.

SPORTING 2-1 Porto

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

Sporting were the victors in the first clássico of the season after an entertainingly scrappy affair at the Alvalade.

Felipe gave the Dragões the lead but goals from the departing Islam Slimani and then Gelson Martins gave the win to Sporting, who now lead the Primeira Liga.

There has been plenty of buzz off the pitch in Portuguese football this weekend with the transfer market making the headlines. The more important action though was on the pitch in the first clássico of the season.

Sporting were, of course, without João Mário after the midfielder’s big money move to Inter. Gelson Martins started in his place and Joel Campbell, on loan from Arsenal, started on the bench.

Despite Nuno Espírito Santo’s side having put Roma to the sword in style in order to qualify for the Champions League midweek, there was only one change; Miguel Layún replaced the injured Maxi Pereira.

Porto take an early lead

Porto may have excused for some tiredness after the game against Roma in the fiery Alvalade atmosphere, but it was they who started the game off with a goal after just 8 minutes.

Referee Tiago Martins gave a soft freekick to Porto outside the area. Miguel Layún’s delivery from it was perfect with Sporting defenders unable to cope and Felipe was allowed to put the ball past Rui Patrício from close range. The Brazilian defender made it 2 goals in 2 games.

Slimani scores against Porto again

Sporting found it hard to get going but they hit back in the 14th minute. It was another freekick situation, this time Bruno César’s shot hit the post. Gelson Martins was the first to react to the situation, and he slid the ball under Iker Casillas. The Spaniard got something on it and it looked like the ball was going to bounce on the goal line and out back into play. However, Islam Slimani, who has a knack of scoring for Porto, made sure of the goal when he smashed it in to score what may be his last goal for Sporting.

Gelson gives Sporting the lead

Sporting grew after that goal and got the second in the 27th minute. Bryan Ruiz picked up the ball in the Porto area. Casillas would later claim it was handball but replays showed that although the ball did touch Ruiz’s hand there was little the Costa Rican could have done about it. Ruiz found Gelson Martin whose powerful shot beat Casillas to put Sporting ahead. Casillas was booked for his protest and Gelson for celebrating without his shirt.

Porto almost hit back immediately. André André picked up the ball from outside the Sporting area and unleashed a fantastic curling shot that had Patrício beaten but went just inches wide.

Then it was Sporting’s turn. This time Casillas was caught out going for a ball and Adrien Silva had a chance but the Spaniard recovered in time to stop Adrien’s shot.

It was a fantastically entertaining 45 minutes of football with Sporting narrowly the better of the two sides. In the second half, although the intensity increased the quality dipped. Nuno Espírito Santo replaced the ineffectual Jesús Corona with the returning Óliver Torres at the break, this being the Spaniard’s first game since returning to Porto from Atlético Madrid.

Sporting almost made it three when Rúben Semedo, who was a rock in defence once again, got his head to Marvin Zeegelaar’s cross. The defender couldn’t keep the ball down to head what would have been an open goal. Casillas was needed five minutes later this time to keep William Carvalho’s header from a corner out.

The game then got scrappy. Sporting looked happy to hold onto the lead and to try and counter where as Porto tried to attack but looked unable to get any fluidity in their movements. João Pereira and Rúben Semedo were having stand out performances in the Sporting back line.

Porto needed to try and change things so Laurent Depoitre came on for André André and later Adrián López for Otávio but the Dragões looked tired from their Champions League victory and as the game wore on became less of a threat despite getting into good positions.

Jorge Jesus, sent to the stands during the second half, which is now almost standard practice for any big match, gave Joel Campbell his debut, replacing compatriot Bryan Ruiz. The Arsenal forward looked lively in his cameo.

In the end, the result was a just one with Sporting overall the better of the two teams and it is they that go into the international break leaders of the Primeira Liga.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Sebastián Coates, Rúben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelaar; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva (YC); Gelson Martins (YC) (Bruno Paulista, 68’, YC), Bruno César (YC) (Carlos Mané, 90’); Bryan Ruiz (Joel Campbell, 68’), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Beto, Ezequiel Schelotto, Paulo Oliveira, Alan Ruiz

Official: João Mário to Internazionale

The transfer of João Mário to Internazionale has finally been completed. The player moves from Lisbon to Milan with a value of €40,000,000 with a possible bonus of a further €5,000,000 in the future, depending on objectives.

João Mário joined Sporting at 11-years old along with his older brother, Wilson Eduardo. He made his debut for the club in December 2011 against Lazio. João Mário always looked promising coming through the youth systems but really caught the eye during his loan move to Vitória de Setúbal and shortly after that cemented his place in the team as a starter.

At €40+5m João Mário becomes the most expensive sale in Sporting’s history. The previous 3 were all to Manchester United, Nani back in 2008 for €25.5m, Marcos Rojo in 2014 for €20m and Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003 for €15m.

João Mário left a message on Instagram for the fans: “Where to start? 14 marvellous years that I will not forget. At this time the only word that comes to my head is thanks. Thanks to Sporting for everything they have done for me. I started like any kid who arrives at the academy and dreams of getting to the first team. Since the first day I knew I had made the right choice and I thank all of the people without exception who were part of this story. From the management, all the trainers I had, all of the people who worked for years at the academy, my big thank you! They will stay in my heart as well as all the Sportinguistas for the support and admiration. From today I am now one more fan. Thank you to Inter for this opportunity and for all the care during this journey. Eager to start.”

Obrigado por tudo, João Mário!

News: João Mário, Pedro Delgado, Luc Castaignos, Naldo

João Mário is in Milan to complete his signing with Internazionale. The two clubs seem to have finally come to an agreement and, presumably, Inter have managed to make the transfer work whilst still agreeing with Financial Fair Play. The transfer should be made official soon.

The signing of Pedro Delgado from Inter is also nearly complete. The player is apparently in Lisbon completing his medical. The player has apparently had other proposals from clubs in England and Italy but is set to return to Sporting, where he previously featured at youth level.

Sporting are apparently close to completing the signing of Luc Castaignos from Eintracht Frankfurt. The Dutch striker, who turns 24 in September, will be signing for a fee believed to be between €2.5m and €3m according to Mais Futebol. The signing of Castaignos would certainly make Islam Slimani’s departure a more likely outcome. Indeed, France Football were reporting that Leicester City want to up their bid for the Algerian striker.

Naldo has left Sporting to join Krasnodar on a permanent transfer. It was initially believed to be a loan deal but the Russian club have signed the player for 4 seasons. Once again, no word yet of a transfer fee.

One transfer fee we do know is that Douglas Teixeira joined Sporting for €1m, aaccording to Trabzonspor themselves. If Douglas is the replacement to Naldo, it looks like Sporting may have made a profit with that one.

Champions League Draw, Douglas, André

There’s plenty of big news to catch up on with the Champions League draw, the signings of Douglas and André, the departure of Alberto Aquilani, and the usual transfer rumours.

Firstly, we’ll look at the Champions League draw. It’s a very tough group for Sporting but does involve the return of a familiar face to the Alvalade. Here are the full Champions League fixtures:

14th September: Real Madrid vs. SPORTING
27th September: SPORTING vs. Legia Warszawa
18th October: SPORTING vs. Borussia Dortmund
2nd November: Borussia Dortmund vs. SPORTING
22nd November: SPORTING vs. Real Madrid
7th December: Legia Warszawa vs. SPORTING

It’s looking like 3rd place is going to be the most likely outcome of that group but the return of Cristiano Ronaldo should be a great moment.

Madrid, Dortmund and Legia will also be the opponents for Sporting’s U19 side as Sporting return to the UEFA Youth League.

Yesterday Sporting also completed the long expected transfer of Douglas Teixeira from Trabzonspor. The Brazilian turned Dutch central defender has a 3-year contract with the option of an extra year.

No word of a transfer fee but the 28-year old is going to find it difficult to get in the team ahead of Rúben Semedo and Sebastián Coates. This is should accelerate the departures of Naldo, rumoured to be joining Krasnodar on loan shortly, and Ewerton.

The departure of Alberto Aquilani has finally concluded. The Italian midfielder rescinded his contract and has joined Pescara.

Before that, on Wednesday evening there was the signing of Brazilian forward André from Corinthians. Apparently, Sporting have used some of the debt owed the club by Corinthians (back from the transfer of Elias) as part of the transfer fee but no official word on the value.

André signs a contract until 2019 with an option of 2 more seasons and a release clause of €60,000,000.

According to O Jogo, Sporting want to give a new contract to Gelson Martins. Martins currently has a contract until 2021, however Sporting want to increase the player’s wages as well extend the length of the contract.

A Bola say that there are Primeira Liga clubs looking to sign Daniel Podence on loan, with Sporting willing to allow the player to gain experience elsewhere.

Finally, the rumours of the signing of Bas Dost have returned. If you believe all the rumours then Sporting have competition from some English sides however should Sporting sign the Wolfsburg man it is likely it could lead to the exit of Islam Slimani.

Famalicão 1-1 SPORTING B

Sporting B came from behind to draw 1-1 with Famalicão with Ivanildo Fernandes getting the goal.

João de Deus gave a debut to Colombian forward Leonardo Ruiz. Guilherme Ramos returned to the team after his suspension in the place of Fidel Escobar.

It was the home side who started the better and they got their goal through Diego Medeiros after just 14 minutes gone.

Sporting improved after the goal and got an equaliser in the 67th minute when Ricardo Guima’s shot was saved by Victor Braga. The rebound fell to Ivanildo Fernandes who converted from close range.

Sporting almost had the game one near the end through the 16-year old Elves Baldé but it ended 1-1.

It was an improvement over the last game against Fafe but there is still work to do for João de Deus and Sporting B.

SPORTING B XI: Pedro Silva; Mama Baldé, Guilherme Ramos, Ivanildo Fernandes (Scored, 67′), David Sualehe; Fábio Martins, Ricardo Guima; Aouacheria Bilel, (YC) Jovane Cabral (Elves Baldé, 63′, YC); Leonardo Ruiz (Fidel Escobar, 85′), Ricardo Almeida (Pedro Marques, 79′)
Substitutes Not Used: Vladimir Stojković, Pedro Empis, Edu Pinheiro, Budag Nasyrov

Sporting Sign Joel Campbell on Loan

As expected, Sporting have completed the transfer of Joel Campbell on loan from Arsenal.

Campbell said this at his presentation: “I am here to win the league! I want to pay back the confidence people have shown in me. Of course I spoke with Bryan Ruiz, who told me a lot of good things about the club, but it was the support of the president and coach that made me take this decision. I will work as hard as I can and results will speak for themselves. I know what I can do and I hope everything goes well here.”

There was no word on whether, as speculated in the press, there is an option for Sporting to buy the player at the end of the loan agreement.

Campbell could make his debut for Sporting on Sunday against FC Porto.

Transfer Rumours – Joel Campbell, Pedro Delgado, João Mário

The latest transfer rumours begin with the seemingly imminent signing of Joel Campbell on loan for Arsenal. Sport TV had initially reported that Campbell was watching the Paços de Ferreira game but then changed their minds.

It is believed, however, that he will be announced shortly as a Sporting player with Sporting also having an option to purchase the player at the end of his loan.

Most people believed Pedro Delgado, Internazionale’s 19-year old Portuguese midfielder, was on his way to Benfica. However, rumours are that he is now on his way to Sporting after having at the last minute upped his wages and fees from Benfica. Of course, if Inter want to do a deal with Sporting it would be beneficial for them now to want to sell a promising Portuguese prospect who once spent a few years at Sporting’s academy to the club’s rivals.

There is the alternative that Delgado’s representatives are using Sporting to help Benfica increase their offer for the player.

Most likely, the player if Sporting do sign Delgado, the player will be a part of João Mário’s transfer. Which, after the midfielder was excluded from Jorge Jesus’ squad for the Paços de Ferreira game, seems ever more imminent .

Of course, this one has been rumbling along all summer, so it was no surprise that Jorge Jesus said after the win against Paços that if João Mário is still at the club on Sunday he will play against Porto.