Sporting are attempting to regroup after a dramatic start to the summer.
New Sporting Lisbon president Sousa Cintra has told Jornal de Noticias that he hopes to convince Bruno Fernandes and Daniel Podence to stay with the club.
Sporting have been in turmoil of late, as an attack from fans at the club's training ground resulted in a host of players rescinding their contracts, including Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Gelson Martins.
Two more players to follow suit were Bruno Fernandes and Daniel Podence, seemingly becoming free agents as they vowed not to return to the club unless Bruno de Carvalho was ousted as president.
Clubs around the world were watching as talented players seemingly became available for free, but Sporting may well contest their free agent status – and have since managed to move on from de Carvalho anytway.
Patricio has already moved on to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the rest of the players involved are yet to resolve their futures, giving Sporting hope of bringing them back to the club.
Now, new president Sousa Cintra has told Jornal de Noticias that he hopes to have an understanding with Podence and Fernandes, as Sporting is their home – and he is working on bringing them back this summer.
“With Podence and Bruno Fernandes there can be understanding, their place is in Sporting, I'm dealing with this subject," said Cintra.
That news may come as a blow to both Nottingham Forest and West Ham United. Last week, Zero Zero reported that Forest were working on bringing in Podence as a free agent, whilst The Sun on Sunday (01/07; page 60) claimed that West Ham are looking to land playmaker Fernandes.
With Sporting now hopeful of keeping both players, Forest and West Ham's plans may be scuppered - but this has been a saga from the very beginning, and there may be more twists and turns yet.