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 to 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 claims 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’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.