Portuguese side Sporting CP have been left reeling following the departures of several star players in this window, but the exodus doesn’t look to be slowing as yet another squad member has decided to terminate his contract with the club.
Argentinian midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia is the latest to do so, citing psychological issues as his reason for wanting to break ties.
According to O Jogo, the 26-year-old claimed: “it is impossible to continue with the work relationship and return to the club.” He also noted a “lack of guarantees and the breach of duty to safeguard my security and personal integrity.”
Things began going downhill when club president Bruno De Carvalho slammed several of his own players on social media after their Europa League loss to Atletico Madrid. He also threatened to suspend 19 members of the first team.
A loss to Maritimo on the final day of the season did very little to help as a third-place finish left them out of the Champions League. And days later, a gang of 50 hooded attackers trashed their training facilities and beat up all the players they could get their hands on.
Rui Patricio and forward Daniel Podence have since had their deals terminated, and coach Jorge Jesus was next out the exit door. Things would get even worse this past weekend as William Carvalho, Gelson Martins, Bruno Fernandes and Bas Dost all walked out.
Rúben Ribeiro also left on Thursday, with Battaglia becoming the eighth player to break his commitment to the club thereafter.