Time is over. Yesterday was the deadline for Islam Slimani’s release clause, and now all the clubs who are interested in the Algerian striker will have to negotiate directly with Sporting.

Several Premier League clubs were said to be interested, but none have got close to paying the price.

Record’s article mentions old bids from Everton (€18m) and Crystal Palace (€15m). They then add Leicester City, Atletico Madrid and Juventus are also potential candidates.

Coincidentally, yesterday was the day when the president Bruno de Carvalho revealed that Sporting rejected a €80m offer for the player. According to Record, this bid was made a Chinese club, but the claim seems quite unbelievable.

Sporting’s war with Benfica is known by everyone who follows Portuguese football, and it could well be seen a bluff from Carvalho in order to give the message that they don’t need to sell their key players.

First of all, if Sporting have really received such a bid, it’s not in the club’s hands to decide if they’re accepting or not, since it’s considerably higher than the release clause. If such a bid actually existed, it was rejected by Slimani himself.

The Portuguese press have been reporting English clubs were in the race to sign the player, but the whole situation has looked strange for a while.

Bruno de Carvalho kept saying “pay the clause or no deal”, so it would look bad for them if no one got even close to that.