Europa League Squad Announced

Sporting have announced their Europa League squad for the upcoming group stages. No real surprises in the squads, Sporting certainly benefitting from being able to register Tobias Figueiredo, Carlos Mané and Gelson Martins as “B” players.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug, Guilherme Oliveira*, Pedro Silva*, Vladimir Stojković*
Defenders: Jonathan Silva, Jefferson, Ewerton, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ricardo Esgaio, Tobias Figueiredo*, Domingos Duarte*, Mauro Riquicho*
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani, William Carvalho, João Mário, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Bruno Paulista, Francisco Geraldes*, Fábio Martins*, Rafael Barbosa*
Forwards: Junya Tanaka, Islam Slimani, Fredy Montero, André Carrillo, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Carlos Mané*, Cristian Ponde*, Daniel Podence*, Gelson Martins*, Matheus Pereira*

*”B list”

Sporting Announce Champions League Squad

Sporting have announced their squad for the upcoming Champions League play-off games against CSKA Moscow. The inclusions of William Carvalho and Ewerton, who have been injured over pre-season, is a welcome return.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug
Defenders: João Pereira, Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ewerton, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Médios: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, João Mário, André Martins
Avançados: André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz, Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Islam Slimani

This, of course, doesn’t include the “B” list of players allowed to be included to Champions League squads. Any players can be registered who were born after 1st January 1994. This includes the likes of Wallyson Mallmann, Rúben Semedo, Gelson Martins and Carlos Mané.

Pre-Season Review: 2015/2016

5 games, 4 wins, 1 draw, 2 trophies. Not a bad start to life at Sporting for Jorge Jesus! With a new 4-2-2-2 system and some new reinforcements it was interesting to watch this new Sporting side develop. Here’s a rundown of what we saw this pre-season…

Sporting kicked off the new season with a training ground friendly against CD Mafra with a 3-1 win. Jefferson, Islam Slimani and Junya Tanaka got the goals for Sporting with the notable inclusion of Gelson Martins in the starting eleven. João Pereira made his return to Sporting as a second-half substitute.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Miguel Lopes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva; Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

After the break Jesus fielded an entirely new team –

Marcelo Boeck; João Pereira, Rúben Semedo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Simeon Slavchev, Ricardo Esgaio; Iuri Medeiros, Diego Capel; Valentín Viola, Junya Tanaka

Next came an even more comfortable win, again behind closed doors, against Atlético Clube de Portugal. Fredy Montero, Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins and a rare brace from Naby Sarr giving Sporting the win.

Again Jesus elected to choose 2 different teams in an effort to judge as many players in action as possible. New signing Naldo made his first appearance in the second half.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; Gelson Martins, Carlos Mané; Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani

Then for the second 45: Marcelo Boeck; Ricardo Esgaio, Naldo, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; Rúben Semedo, Oriol Rosell, Wallyson Mallmann; Diego Capel, Iuri Medeiros; Junya Tanaka

Sporting then flew down to South Africa to participate in the Cape Town Cup hosted by Ajax Cape Town. Sporting drew the hosts in the first game with the winner facing off against either Crystal Palace or Supersport United.

Ajax Cape Town proved to be tricker than expected for Sporting. After Carlos Mané’s opening goal, the South African side pulled one back after Naldo handballed in the area, and Cecil Lolo dispatched the penalty. The hosts then took the lead in the 80th minute through Franklin Cale. Just 4 minutes later however, Rúben Semedo towered to head in from a corner to bring the game straight to penalties after the 90 minutes.

Ricardo Esgaio scored the winning penalty for Sporting after Rui Patrício made 2 saves to deny Ajax. The game also saw debuts for Michaël Ciani and Teófilo Gutiérrez

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 46′), Paulo Oliveira (Michaël Ciani, 72′), Tobias Figueiredo (Naldo, 46′), Jefferson (Jonathan Silva, 46′); João Mário (Wallyson Mallmann, 72′), Adrien Silva (Rubén Semedo, 78′), André Martins (Fredy Montero, 46′); Gelson Martins (Iuri Medeiros. 70′), Carlos Mané (André Carrillo, 46′); Islam Slimani (Teófilo Gutiérrez, 46′)

Next for Sporting came a sterner test against Crystal Palace. It was an end to end match with Rui Patrício pulling out some fantastic saves throughout the match to deny the London team.

Substitute Fredy Montero’s second-half brace gave Sporting the win and their first trophy under Jorge Jesus, albeit the Cape Town Cup.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 61′), Paulo Oliveira (Tobias Figueiredo, 81′), Naldo, Jefferson; Rúben Semedo (João Mário, 37′), Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 81′); Gelson Martins (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Oriol Rosell, 61′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 61′), Islam Slimani (Diego Capel, 90+1′)

The final pre-season game was back at the Alvalade with the annual Troféu Cinco Violinos. This time, AS Roma, 2nd in Serie A last year were to be the opponents.

It was 2 quick-fire goals in the second half that gave Sporting the win. Islam Slimani headed in Jefferson’s corner for the first and Carlos Mané poached for the second.

This was by far the most polished pre-season performance from Sporting and it was where Jorge Jesus’ new tactics really felt like they were working. Roma were limited to very few chances with Sporting dominating the ball for the majority of the game.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck, 77′); João Pereira (Ricardo Esgaio, 78′), Paulo Oliveira, Naldo (Tobias Figueiredo, 60′), Jefferson; Adrien Silva (Wallyson Mallmann, 78′), João Mário (Rúben Semedo, 59′); André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 71′), Bryan Ruiz (Carlos Mané, 46′); Teófilo Gutiérrez (Fredy Montero, 60′), Islam Slimani (André Martins, 71′)

The win will give Sporting huge confidence going into next week’s 2015 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira against Benfica.

News Round-Up: João de Deus takes the B team, International Call-Ups, Two Victories

There’s plenty to catch up on after a few days without a post so we’ll start with the most recent news.

João de Deus will be taking over from Francisco Barão as the coach of the Sporting B team. The former Oliveirense and Gil Vicente manager, who had a modest playing career before becoming a coach, will be working alongside Francisco Barão to coach the side. Barão now will be once against the assistant as he was previously when Abel Ferreira was coach.

This week is another international week and there’s plenty of Sporting players involved. The highlights include Ryan Gauld being selected for the Scotland first team and Tobias Figueiredo being named in the Portugal U21 team. Not to mention Sporting having 6 players in new coach Fernando Santos’ first selection. Here’s the full list:

Algeria: Islam Slimani
Japan: Junya Tanaka
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Cédric Soares, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário, Nani
Portugal U21: Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané, Iuri Medeiros
Peru: André Carrillo
Scotland: Ryan Gauld

There was plenty of good results across many different Sporting teams in various sports but we’ll focus on the B team and the first team here.

The B team returned to winning ways, in what we know now was Francisco Barão’s last B team game as head coach, with a 2-1 win at home to Trofense. With Tobias Figueiredo called up to the first team for this game Domingos Duarte made his full professional debut in central defence.

Sporting’s first goal came after just 3 minutes when Papa Alassane diverted the ball into his own goal from a corner whilst under pressure from Sambinha.

The second goal came in the 22nd minute when Wallyson Mallmann completed a fantastic chip from outside of the area as he beat goalkeeper Diogo Freire to the ball.

The B team looked comfortable but just after the restart Ricardo Esgaio was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the game.

Hélder Sousa managed to pull one back for Trofense as they enjoyed more of the play with superior numbers but Sporting managed to hold out and pick up a much needed win.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Ricardo Esgaio (YC, RC), Sambinha, Domingos Duarte, Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Francisco Geraldes, 81′), Wallyson Mallmann (Scored, 22′), Ryan Gauld; Hadi Sacko (YC) (Mauro Riquicho, 56′), Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 68′), Salim Cissé
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Liu Yiming, Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh

The first team managed to pick up another 4-0 win away from home after an explosive closing third of the game saw Sporting pick up all of their goals. A particular highlight included Fredy Montero grabbing a goal once again.

Paulo Oliveira started in central defence with Maurício out injured. Elsewhere André Martins played alongside William Carvalho and João Mário in midfield giving Adrien Silva a rest.

It was a gruelling first hour for Sporting with Penafiel defending well and Sporting find it difficult to carve out space. Nani could have put the visitors ahead when he connected to André Carrillo’s cross but miscued his effort.

With Sporting labouring in the first half Marco Silva made a double substitution in the 57th minute that turned the tide of the game with William Carvalho and André Martins being replaced by Adrien Silva and Fredy Montero.

Islam Slimani headed home past the diving Alireza Haghighi from Jefferson’s cross in the 69th minute to open the scoring for Sporting.

He then muscled his way into the path of Cédric Soares’ long ball over the top to finish beautifully by hitting the under side of the cross bar and into the net just 2 minutes later.

Fredy Montero’s return to scoring came after an excellent Sporting attacking move. Diego Capel’s low cross found the Colombian able to table in at the far post and end his barren run with his first goal in 300 days.

Montero then turned provider for Sporting’s final goal. Montero’s low ball into the path of Nani allowed the winger to finish with great skill from close range and add extra emphasis to the scoreline.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Naby Sarr, Paulo Oliveira, Jefferson (YC); William Carvalho (YC) (Fredy Montero, 57′, Scored, 82′, YC), João Mário, André Martins (Adrien Silva, 57′); André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 70′), Nani (Scored, 85′) (YC), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′, 71′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Jonathan Silva, Oriol Rosell, Junya Tanaka

Transfer Round-Up 2014: Arrivals

So, we already reviewed the departures but here we go with this years summer signings. Starting with our new coach…

Marco Silva from Estoril (Free): When the news broke that Marco Silva would not be renewing his contract with Estoril rumours had him being linked with all the big clubs. Then, when the rumours started that Leonardo Jardim was heading to Monaco things made a lot more sense. It’s a tough job for Marco Silva having only previously managed Estoril although he’s done some incredible things for them in that time. Sporting is certainly a different prospect. Still, we will see how it goes – so far signs are positive.

Simeon Slavchev from Litex Lovech (Undisclosed): The battling midfielder hasn’t played too much football for Sporting thus far. A few knocks disrupted his pre-season but at just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for him to improve and adapt to Portuguese football.

Paulo Oliveira from Vitória de Guimarães (Undisclosed): It was almost certain Marcos Rojo was going to leave the club this summer and so Sporting made sure to sign a new centre-back as soon as possible. Oliveira impressed during his time at Guimarães but now needs to establish himself in the first team as so far Marco Silva seems to prefer Naby Sarr.

Oriol Rosell from Sporting Kansas City (Undisclosed): The former Barcelona youth player seems to have settled in well already and has been promising so far. Signed as a back-up to William Carvalho with possibly a view to replacing him when the inevitable big money for him arrives.

Jorge Santos from Padroense (Undisclosed): A signing for the B-team, the 21-year old forward was once part of Porto’s youth set up but left to join minnows Padroense. Still, he clearly did enough to impress there and will have a rather large step up to adapt to.

André Geraldes from İstanbul Başakşehir (€600,000): Signed as the new back-up to Cédric Soares after a solid time spent last season at Belenenses. Geraldes though has plenty of competition to get into the team with the recently instated Miguel Lopes and the very promising Ricardo Esgaio coming through the youth system. It could be a tough season for Geraldes.

Junya Tanaka from Kashiwa Reysol (€750,000): Had an excellent pre-season in which he scored plenty of goals although will now find it difficult to get ahead of Islam Slimani and Fredy Montero. So far, signs are promising – his attempt that hit the post in the final minute against Arouca was the one that lead the Carlos Mané’s winner. So far, a promising singing.

Ryan Gauld from Dundee United (€3,750,000): Sporting’s biggest investment in this transfer window is Scotland’s “mini-Messi”. So far Gauld has been put in the B team to help him adapt to life in Portugal but already he is impressing and it shouldn’t be too long before he breaks through to the first team but at just 18-years old he still has plenty of time on his side – a very exciting prospect!

Naby Sarr from Lyon (€1,300,000): There was some pessimism after hearing some negative comments from French football fans after Sporting completed the signing of Naby Sarr. The giant centre-defender so far has been very solid in alongside Maurício in defence and seems to have won Marco Silva’s early trust over Paulo Oliveira. Sarr is just 21-years old so there is plenty of time for him to mature and settle down.

Ramy Rabia from Al-Ahly (€750,000): It took a long, long time for Sporting to complete the signing of Ramy Rabia this summer but eventually they got their man. The 21-year old can play at centre-back or defensive midfield but has so far been playing alongside Tobias Figueiredo in the B team. He’s looked very promising in his first few games although has recently picked up an injury. Another player with bags of potential.

Jonathan Silva from Estudiantes de La Plata (€2,800,000): Signed as competition for Jefferson at left-back with a big price too. Silva only turned 20 in June so he’s another promising youngster. The Argentinian made a fantastic debut for the B team with a fantastic goal and it shouldn’t be too long until he gets his first team shot.

Nani from Manchester United (Loan): Bruno de Carvalho’s coup of the transfer window was the arrival of Nani on loan from Manchester United as part of the Marcos Rojo sale. Not only could the returning Nani could hugely improve the side once he regains his match sharpness – Sporting won’t be paying any of his wages. We’ll forget that his second debut began with him missing a penalty – there’s definitely more to come.

Hadi Sacko from Girondins de Bordeaux (€1,4000,000): Another signing based on potential is the forward Hadi Sacko. Sacko spent the beginning of 2014 on loan at Le Havre and will be beginning his Sporting career with the B team. At just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for the France U20 international to improve and break into the first team.

Estimated Transfer Spending (€14,350,000– Estimated Transfer Income (€23,000,000): +€8,650,000

In all it’s a very promising window for Sporting with plenty of young talent brought into the club that can be nurtured and improved. The oldest signings being Tanaka and Nani both at 27 but the average of the signing was 21.8 years old (23 if for some reason you wanted to include Marco Silva) it shows the obvious transfer policy of the club.

The club spending well within their means and making sure the new players have plenty of future resale value only bodes well for the club.

Sporting’s Champions League Squad Announced

Sporting have sent their squad list to UEFA which includes some notable absentees. Both Miguel Lopes and Shikabala are absent from the least leading to speculations over their future, the latter is expect to return to for a 4th stint with Zamalek. There were though inclusions for Ryan Gauld, Ramy Rabia, Hadi Sacko and André Geraldes.

The full list:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Luís Ribeiro, Guilherme Oliveira*, Pedro Silva*, Vladimir Stojković*
Defenders: Cédric Soares, André Geraldes Ricardo Esgaio*, Ramy Rabia, Maurício, Paulo Oliveira, Naby Sarr, Jefferson Jonathan Silva, Mica Pinto*, Tobias Figueiredo*, Domingos Duarte*, Wilson Manafá*, Bruno Wilson*, Bernardo Carlos*, Hugo Meira*, Mauro Riquicho*, João Serrano*
Midfielders: William Carvalho, Oriol Rosell, Simeon Slavchev, Adrien Silva, João Mário*, André Martins, Ryan Gauld, Wallyson Mallmann*, Filipe Chaby*, Francisco Geraldes*, Fábio Martins*, Rafael Barbosa*, Edelino Ié*
Forwards: Diego Capel, Nani, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané*, Héldon Ramos, Nani, Hadi Sacko,Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Islam Slimani, Cristian Ponde*, Iuri Medeiros*, Daniel Podence*, Gelson Martins*, José Postiga*, Matheus Pereira*

The players with asterisks are part of the UEFA “B list”.

Week Round-Up 29/08

It’s been a very busy week for Sportinguistas. There was the Champions League draw, a new signing, Sporting B won and the international call ups. Here’s a round up of the week…

First there were Paulo Bento’s Portugal call-ups. Rui Patrício, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho and Nani all made it into the squad. Cédric Soares presumably missing out through injury. Portugal will be hosting Albania in a European qualifying game.

Rui Jorge’s U21 side named 5 Sporting players for their games against Norway and Azerbaijan. Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, João Mário, Iuri Medeiros and Carlos Mané all feature.

Elsewhere Simeon Slavchev has been called up to Bulgaria, André Carrillo to Peru, Junya Tanaka to Japan, Islam Slimani to Algeria, Héldon Ramos to Cape Verde, Ramy Rabia and Shikabala to Egypt, and Ryan Gauld has been called up to Scotland U21s.

Following up on Cédric Soares, A Bola reports that Sporting expect him to return in time to face Belenenses.

Thursday saw the draw for the Champions League. Sporting’s first participation in the tournament since 2008/2009. Sporting have been drawn along side Chelsea, Schalke 04 and Maribor.

Sporting’s fixtures are as follows:

17th September: vs. Maribor (A)
30th September: vs. Chelsea (H)
21st October: vs. Schalke 04 (A)
5th November: vs. Schale 04 (H)
25th November: vs. Maribor (H)
10th December: vs. Chelsea (A)

The draw also affects Sporting’s U19 side who will face the same teams in their UEFA Youth League draw. Coach José Lima describing it is a “very difficult” group.

Also on Thursday Sporting announced the signing of another forward. 20-year old Frenchman Hadi Sacko has joined from Girondins de Bordeaux after having spent 2014 on loan at Le Havre. The fee for the player is believed to be €1,400,000.

Sacko has signed a 6-year contract with a €60,000,000 release clause.

Elsewhere there was the departure of Hugo Sousa from the B team. The 22-year old defender was released from his contract and has joined Belgian side Waasland-Beveren for 3 years.

Finally, on Tuesday Sporting B moved up to second place in the Segunda Liga with a 3-0 win over Desportivo das Aves. Francisco Barão started with a strong team as Simeon Slavchev, Ramy Rabia and Jonathan Silva all made their B team debuts. Sporting B were also without the suspended Ousmane Dramé leaving the starting line-up with no recognised striker.

It was the Argentine left-back who started the scoring with a beautifully hit strike in the 30th minute leaving Quim with no hope of saving.

Sporting B doubled their league in the 63rd minute when Mica Pinto, playing on the right-side of midfield, pulled the ball back for Ryan Gauld. The Scot’s shot was deflected before going in.

The impressive Ramy Rabia helped with the 3rd goal. His 84th minute shot after a Iuri Medeiros freekick was well saved but the ball bounced to substitute Lewis Enoh to secure the win for Sporting B.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Ramy Rabia (YC), Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Jonathan Silva (Scored, 30′); Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Simeon Slavchev (Iuri Medeiros, 65′); Ryan Gauld (Scored, 63′); Mica Pinto (YC) (Gelson Martins, 70′), Daniel Podence (Lewis Enoh, 79′, Scored, 84′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Sambinha, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Weekend Rond-Up: Sporting beat Arouca, B team wins and more…

A look back at another bumper weekend for Sporting. Both teams turned out victors with fine margins. Meanwhile there were developments for Vítor Silva and Rúben Semedo.

Sporting left it late to pick up their first win of the season at home to Arouca. Carlos Mané scored from close range after Junya Tanaka’s shot rebounded of the post. Meanwhile Nani’s first game back at Sporting resulted in a missed penalty.

Marco Silva was without the suspended William Carvalho so Oriol Rosell dropped into defensive midfield whilst Naby Sarr kept his place alongside Maurício in defence. Ricardo Esgaio started ahead of the injured Cédric Soares and Nani went straight into the starting XI along side André Carrillo.

The game was certainly much tougher than their first game at the Alvalade last season, also against Arouca, when they ran out 5-1 winners.

Arouca goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea was the star of the first half keeping out Fredy Montero excellent on two occasions.

There were improvements in the second half and the game’s major controversial moment came in 63rd minute when Sporting won a penalty. Adrien Silva was set to take the penalty as usual until Nani insisted that he take the penalty to try and score on his return. However the winger’s penalty saved by the impressive Goicoechea to give Nani an awkward start on his return from Portugal.

It seemed like Arouca and Goicoechea were going to be able to continue to keep Sporting at bay if not go on and score themselves but Sporting left it late to grab the winner. Marco Silva must be given credit for his gung-ho tactics with Sporting ending the game in the unorthodox 4-1-5 formation.

A Jefferson cross found debutant substitute Junya Tanaka in space in the 3rd minute of extra time.. The Japanese forward’s snap shot hit the post but Carlos Mané pounced on the rebound to give Sporting the winner.

The late win should give Marco Silva’s team confidence ahead of the next game against Benfica at the Luz on Sunday.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC); Oriol Rosell (Carlos Mané, 46′, Scored 90+3, YC), Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (Diego Capel, 76′); Nani (Junya Tanaka, 77′, YC), André Carrillo, Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Jonathan Silva, João Mário

Sporting B also ran out winners with Ousmane Dramé getting the only goal in a 1-0 victory away to Olhanense.

The French forward diverted a low Daniel Podence cross into the goal in the 53rd minute.

Olhanense were reduced to 10-men in the 60th minute when former Sporting youngster Pedro Celestino received his second yellow card.

The teams were even when 81st minute goalscorer Dramé received a straight red card.

Late into the game Francisco Barão gave a professional debut for youngster Gelson Martins when the 19-year old came on as a substitute for Lewis Enoh.

The result moves Sporting B up to 6th in the Segunda Liga.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Iuri Medeiros, 66′); Daniel Podence (YC) (Filipe Chaby, 75′), Lewis Enoh (Gelson Martins, 90+2′), Ousmane Dramé (Scored, 53′) (RC)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Today Sporting announced two players moving to CF Reus Deportiu. It seems Sporting has close ties with the Catalonia club after Alexandre Guedes transferred permanently to Reus last season as well as Tobias Figueiredo spend a loan spell there.

Vítor Silva has made a permanent transfer to the Segunda División B club representing a large step down for the 30-year old midfielder. The transfer is without a free but should Reus sell on for more than €300,000 than Sporting will be due 25% of the fee.

Also Rúben Semedo has moved to the club on loan for the season with the Spanish club playing the player’s wages in full. The defender has had his share of off-field problems, most recently with a training ground bust-up with Lewis Enoh, so a loan move away is certainly a good option for the club.

Finally it seems Islam Slimani’s future with Sporting may have been resolved. The Algerian forward returned to first-team training today and could feature in the squad to face Benfica next weekend.

News Round-Up: 14/07/14

Sporting kicked off their pre-season campaign with a win against an Azores XI on Saturday in Ponta Delgada and captured the Troféu Pedro Pauleta.

The game marked a first win for new coach Marco Silva and a whole host of first games for many of the new signings. Shikabala opened the scoring for Sporting in impressive style in the second-half before Santa Clara forward Hélder Arruda equalised just 2 minutes later. Sporting wrapped up the win with a Wilson Eduardo goal later on.

Marco Silva’s first XI was – Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Eric Dier, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, André Martins; Carlos Mané, André Carrillo, Fredy Montero.

After the break there was a huge amount of changes with Marco Silva swapping his entire outfield team. André Geraldes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Mica Pinto, João Mário, Shikabala, Vítor Silva, Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel and Junya Tanaka. Later on in the game also saw the introductions of Ryan Gauld and Héldon Ramos – only substitute goalkeeper Guilherme Oliveira didn’t feature.

Elsewhere, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Cup final finished with Marcos Rojo on the eventual losing side though the Argentinian had a great tournament.

In transfer rumours Eric Dier is being strongly linked with Newcastle United. O Jogo claiming the proposed transfer is “imminent”. Dier’s contract runs out in 2016 and it seems the defender is looking to move away from Sporting.

Islam Slimani’s racking up plenty of rumours with Leicester City the latest club to be linked with the Algerian striker.

Sporting have been linked with the signing of FC Twente winger Jerson Cabral. Cabral, of Cape Verdean descent, currently features for the Netherlands U21 side.

Finally, Record says that Valentín Viola and Salim Cissé have both been dropped down to the B team. Salim Cissé is perhaps likely to get on loan and whilst Viola homes to affirm his place in the Sporting team it looks like he may well be leaving the club soon.

Sporting Sign Junya Tanaka

Sporting have completed the signing of Kashiwa Reysol forward Junya Tanaka on a 5-year contract with a €60,000,000 release clause.

Tanaka arrived in Lisbon yesterday to complete his transfer and after having passed a medical was unveiled as a Sporting player today. O Jogo speculate the deal will cost Sporting €750,000.

26-year old Tanaka broke into football as a Kashiwa Reysol player in 2010 and has since scored 53 goals in 170 matches for Chiba club as well as having so far made 1 appearance for the national team.