Arsenal and Liverpool have been given a major boost of landing Gelson Martins after the Portugal star reportedly cancelled his contract at Sporting Lisbon in a bid to force through a transfer.
The Gunners have been tracking the exciting Portugal winger since Sven Mislintat’s appointment as director of football, with new boss Unai Emery giving his go-ahead to the possible swoop.
Arsenal were reported to have seen a €30million bid for the star rejected last week as Sporting clung on desperately to achieving something nearer to the €60million exit clause in his contract. Liverpool have also long been linked with a move.
But with the player hoping to make the move to the Premier League, it seems Martins – along with a number of other unhappy Sporting stars – have taken matters into their own hands.
Portuguese newspaper Record claims Martins, along with William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes, have all submitted letters of resignation to Sporting Club and the Portuguese Football Federation explaining their stance.
A number of Sporting players were attacked by around 50 masked thugs at Sporting’s training ground last month after missing out on a place in next season’s Champions League. The club’s president also threatened to suspend a number of stars after their Europa League loss to Atletico Madrid.
But now all three have submitted their termination requests within 30 days of the attack – leaving the Portuguese giants in danger of losing more than £100million worth of talent for nothing.
News of all three players’ availability is likely to alert a number of Premier League suitors – West Ham and Everton are keen on Carvalho, while Spurs and Liverpool want Fernandes – but it is Martins, whom the Portuguese media is most close to a move.
The 23-year-old was one of Sporting’s most influential players during the 2017/18 campaign, scoring 13 goals and providing 13 assists in 52 appearances.