Four key players including Bas Dost and William Carvalho have cancelled their Sporting CP contracts following a season of turmoil at the Portuguese club.
Dost, Carvalho as well as Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes have become the latest players to seek termination of their deals at the club, following Rui Patricio's decision to cut his time at the club short earlier this month .
Sporting finished third in the 2017-18 Primeira Liga, missing out on a place in the Champions League as off-field issues impacted their title bid as well as their European campaign. Club president Bruno de Carvalho suspended 19 players after losing to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, while angry fans attacked players and staff during a training session in May.
The club president issued a statement following the attack on the players, but this did little to help heal the relationship as he failed to fully stand by his squad
“It was annoying, but tomorrow is a new day," Carvalho said. "We have to realise that crime is part of everyday life and that it needs to be punished in the right place, at the right time.”
This came after the president's public comments on the players where he singled out poor performances against Atletico, which resulted in the players claiming an “absence of support” from Carvalho .
The players participated in the cup final - a 2-1 loss to Aves - but have now decided to make their feelings known.
Following the exit of Rui Patricio, as well as head coach Jorge Jesus, the foursome of Dost, Carvalho, Martins and Fernandes decided to go public on Monday, and filed notice with the Portuguese Securities Market Commission that they intended to terminate their contracts, invoking "just cause" after being attacked in their workplace.
Carvalho has been linked with the likes of Everton and West Ham while Martins is reportedly a target of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Patricio, meanwhile, is a target for Wolves and Napoli while Dost was recently linked with a move to Newcastle United.