Football

What Sporting Lisbon’s Off-Field Drama Could Mean For Ryan Gauld

What Sporting Lisbon’s Off-Field Drama Could Mean For Ryan Gauld

Sporting Lisbon are in the midst of some serious off-field turmoil as they set about trying to recover from a training ground attack that led to several key players quitting the club this summer.

In case you missed it, a group of angry supporters attacked several players and staff after storming their training ground last month.

They were furious with Sporting’s performance in the 2-1 defeat to Maritimo on the final day of the Primeira Liga season – a result which confirmed they’d play in the Europa League next season rather than the Champions League.

Since the attacks, key players such as striker Bas Dost, goalkeeper Rui Patricio, midfielders William Carvalho, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes have all quit the club citing ‘valid motions’ for their decision.

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Sporting were boosted by the exit of controversial president Bruno de Carvalho after he was voted out by the club on Sunday.

But they’ve now been plunged into fresh turmoil after deciding to sack their new manager Sinisa Mihajlovic just nine days after he was appointed.

So where do Sporting go next? Some of the first team is back for pre-season already – and among those players is former Dundee United midfielder Gauld.

He’s now into his fourth year in Portuguese football after moving to the Primeira Liga giants in a £3million deal back in 2014.

But he’s hardly played for Sporting, appearing just five times for the first team and spending the majority of his time out on loan with clubs Vitoria de Setubal and Aves.

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As Gauld spends more and more time away from the club on loan, it looks increasingly likely that he won’t make the breakthrough there.

There has been plenty of speculation over the years linking him with a return to British football, with Celtic, Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday mentioned.

But could he be set to get more of a chance after the departure of several players this summer and a new manager at the helm?

Or could we see Gauld decide to turn his back on Sporting and move between now and the start of the season?

We’re unsure whether or not Gauld would be able to terminate his contracts as it doesn’t appear that he was at the training ground when the fans attacked the squad and staff.

But it could be that he’s made available for transfer this summer and that should put clubs back in Britain on alert.

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