€100m Liverpool, Tottenham target wants out after Sporting attack

About 50 hooded men forced their way into Alcochete, Sporting Lisbon's training complex, on Tuesday, O Jogo reports. "We can not in any form be associated with acts of vandalism and aggression toward players, coaches and staff of the professional football department, nor with attitudes which constitute the practice of a crime".

Portuguese television channel RTP said that around 50 intruders, who had covered their faces to avoid being identified, interrupted team practice and assaulted a number of players and staff.

The attack was condemned by both Sporting and the Portuguese league.

This season's best player, Dutch forward Bas Dost, who 13 goals in 12 matches for the club, was reportedly hit in head during the attack. They also trashed a changing room.

The alleged incident took place just two days after a 2-1 defeat to Maritimo, a result that meant Sporting missed out on a Champions League place to Benfica. Tuesday's events were hardly ideal preparation for their upcoming Portuguese Cup final against Aves on Sunday evening.

"Sporting Club of Portugal vehemently repudiate the incidents registered today at the Sporting academy", the club said in a statement.

"This is not and can not be Sporting", it added. "We will make every effort to establish full responsibility for what has happened and we will demand the punishment of those who acted in this absolutely pitiful way".

In April, De Carvalho claimed he was suspending 19 of the first-team players following their Europa League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid, although he later appeared to back down.

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