A Bola report on Friday that one of Sporting’s targets to strengthen their attack this window has been Jonathan Calleri, currently on loan at West Ham.
Calleri is owned by Deportivo Maldonado, a second division Uruguayan club which is used by investors to buy footballers and then profit from a later sale.
For weeks, local Las Palmas media Canarias7 have reported an agreed deal for Calleri to spend the second half of the season, or what’s left of it, there. That’s still something they think is likely, but apparently West Ham are having second thoughts, and may want to keep Calleri because he scored in his last match… as good a reason as any.
All this is why a deal would be ‘very difficult’ for Sporting, but perhaps it should be impossible, at any point.
There are things in favour of Calleri swapping West Ham for Sporting. The Portuguese club is huge, and Calleri has already played in a Portuguese speaking country.
At the same time there are several things holding the deal back. Sporting’s president Bruno de Carvalho has built his reputation among fans as being some kind of knight in shining armour who won’t let his club be used by agents and third part owners.
He’s fought, and lost, against third party owners Doyen in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, complaining publicly throughout, so getting into a deal with Deportivo Maldonado would be a huge surprise.
It would see Carvalho look like something of hypocrite and perhaps set Sporting up for further arguments, and potential legal cases, if they fell out with Maldonado down the road.
Calleri has been keen on a West Ham exit and they’ve been keen to push the player out, but there’s now just days left of the window and the Argentine hasn’t gone anywhere.