West Ham are “commencing legal proceedings” against Sporting Lisbon over recent controversial comments made by their communications director.
The Hammers were thought to have targeted Sporting midfielder William Carvalho throughout the summer, lodging what co-owner David Sullivan described as a “club-record bid”.
Sullivan went on to claim that Sporting accepted said offer, but that it was too late on deadline day to have the player undergo a medical.
Nuno Saraiva, in charge of communications at Sporting, disputed those claims, describing Sullivan, who made his fortune in the adult film business, as a “liar” and a “parasite”.
“David Sullivan lies,” he said. “At Sporting Clube de Portugal, as has already been said by our president, no proposal was made for our player William Carvalho.
“The football industry is not the set of an adult film in which all obscenities are allowed. So the boss of a club demands a lot more than this intellectual pornography.”
Sullivan issued a response on Sunday evening.
“They are not true,” he told West Ham fanzine Claret & Hugh of Saraiva’s claims. “But he (Bruno de Carvalho) can’t admit publicly that he was prepared to sell him.
“Our bid was submitted via the player’s agent and our negotiators in Portugal. We also put in a written bid.”
Sullivan’s son Jack confirmed that the club were looking into taking legal action.
‘West Ham are commencing legal proceedings against the communications director of Sporting Lisbon as a written offer for the player was made to Bruno de Carvalho, the president of Sporting Lisbon,’ he posted on Twitter.
‘To say we never made an offer is nonsense and serious libel.’