One of Arsenal’s main transfer targets may have just gotten a lot cheaper, as according to several reports out of Portugal, Gelson Martins, a 23-year old winger for Sporting CP, will join multiple teammates in trying to get their contracts with the Lisbon-based club canceled. Martins to Arsenal has been a hot transfer rumor recently, and reports suggest Arsenal have submitted two bids in the €30m-range for him in the last week, both of which Sporting rejected. If Martins’ contract is rescinded, he would be available as a free transfer.
If you haven’t been following the chaos at Sporting CP the past few months, click here for a helpful primer courtesy of Tiago Estêvão for StatsBomb.
What comes next remains unclear, however. At least to my knowledge, no one fully knows how this process is supposed to play out, or how long this could take to resolve. Martins and a few other high-profile players have submitted their official resignations from the club to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission. Bruno de Carvalho, Sporting’s President and the cause of much of this distress, has threatened legal action against the players, which could really drag this battle out.
Sporting have confirmed that they’ve received William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins’ termination letters to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission. pic.twitter.com/DIMgE0fm3M— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) June 11, 2018
A Bola, a Portuguese media outlet, is reporting, however, that the players in question may take back their resignations if de Carvalho steps down himself.
Martins had eight goals and eight assists in 31 league appearances for Sporting this season, and is part of Portugal’s World Cup squad.
This is obviously an extremely fluid and hectic situation right now, so definitely keep an eye out for more news out of Portugal. It’s sad seeing a top-level club fall apart like this, but it could prove to be hugely beneficial for Arsenal if Martins can get out of his contract.