Sporting CP are at risk of being reported to FIFA over the January transfer that saw star midfielder Bruno Fernandes join Manchester United. The player’s former club, Sampdoria, believe they are owed a sell-on fee from the deal that has not been paid.
After weeks of speculation and negotiation, United eventually agreed a deal with Sporting worth an initial £47m (€55m), rising to a potential £67m (€80m) with add-ons.
Fernandes had earlier joined Sporting from Sampdoria for a reported €8.5m in 2017, marking his return to Portugal after spending five years in Italy with three different clubs. But as part of that deal, I Blucerchiati are thought to have agreed a sell-on clause.
Portuguese outlet A Bola writes that Sampdoria claim they are owed €4.65m (£4m), which is equivalent to 10% of the profit that Sporting made on their original purchase of Fernandes.
However, that money has not been passed on to the Serie A side, and A Bola notes that the dispute has so far seen the clubs engage in talks and not yet reached the stage of legal action. If there is no resolution, the matter could be escalated and a formal complaint made to FIFA.
Sporting are said to be looking into the situation to determine whether they really are liable to pay up the fee. That is because Fernandes signed a new contract with the club in 2018 not long after the shock attack on the team’s training ground by a group of irate fans.
Sporting’s argument for not paying Sampdoria would therefore be that Fernandes was no longer under the terms of his original contract when he moved on. Whether that defence would hold up to legal scrutiny and investigation remains to be seen.
Fernandes himself is not part of the controversy and has been a revelation since arriving in Manchester. The 25-year-old immediately breathed new life into the United squad and had seven combined goals and assists in nine appearances by the time coronavirus halted football.
This week, Fernandes gave United fans even more reason to be impressed by their new signing’s mentality and attitude when he described himself as a ‘warrior’.
“Warrior, because for me every game is a battle,” he replied when asked to choose just a single word to best sum himself up.
“You need to go out to the game and just understand you need to beat your opponent. With all of the respect, because you need to have respect for your opponent, but you need to beat them. If you don’t beat them, they will beat you.
“It doesn’t matter who is on the other team. If it is a friend, because I have friends playing in the Premier League, I don’t care. At that moment I will be the biggest enemy they can have.”