FIFA to judge Sampdoria claim from sale of Bruno Fernandes

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              Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes reacts during the FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park in Derby, England, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA is investigating a complaint by Sampdoria to get a share of the reported 55 million euro ($59.4 million) transfer fee Manchester United paid Sporting Lisbon for Bruno Fernandes.

FIFA said Wednesday it is handling a claim filed against Sporting over a sell-on clause the Italian club believes is valid from the January sale. Man United is not involved in the case.

Fernandes played one season with Sampdoria before a move in 2017 to Sporting in a deal reportedly worth 8.5 million euros ($9.2 million) plus bonuses.

FIFA said it is now investigating “financial obligations set out in the contract corresponding to the transfer” three years ago.

Sampdoria is reported to have inserted a clause earning it 10% of the profit if Sporting sold the Portugal midfielder. It could be worth several million euros (dollars).

However, the case is complicated by turmoil at Sporting in 2018 under a former club owner.

Fernandes was among a group of players who voided their contracts after being attacked by fans at the club training ground. Some players left, but Fernandes stayed and signed an improved contract.

FIFA will likely decide if the sell-on clause in the player’s original Sporting contract is valid in the subsequent one.