Since January 2016, when Sebastian Coates was loaned from Sunderland to Sporting, the player has been getting praise for his performances in Portugal.

That’s why the local press was so sure that the Lions would use their buying option over the player. All they needed was to pay Sunderland €5m and agree the personal terms.

But the club have been finding difficulties getting the defender accepting the salary offered by them, so as reported a few days ago, their rivals Benfica started keeping an eye on the situation.

CapturarAnd according to O Jogo today, the Eagles have already found an agreement with both Sunderland and Coates for his transfer at the end of the season.

The price asked by Sunderland is said to be pretty affordable, and Benfica had no problems in agreeing the terms with his agent. So the newspaper use terms saying the club “have the player in their hand” as if it’s pretty much done.

Sporting have one of the most notorious presidents in Europe football, Bruno de Carvalho, who’s known for his fan-like way of managing the club. He certainly won’t sit and watch it happen, so his reaction is really something we’re looking forward to.

Maybe the Sunderland owned player will be sent to the reserves to rot, or banished from the club entirely. If Benfica have agreed with Sunderland, don’t rule out Carvalho sniping at the English club and perhaps refusing to pay anything towards the player’s wages.

If the O Jogo claims are correct, the fall-out from this is going to be fun to watch.