With over a month and a half still to go in the 2013 summer transfer window, I think I'm ready to give out the prize for most convoluted-crazy-insane transfer. Armindo Tué Na Bangna, a.k.a. Bruma will you please step forward and accept your Pastore-Robinho-Mikel Memorial Award?
What started as a simple contract dispute has turned into quite a public spectacle. Each side is accusing the other of lying, while they argue over the terms of a contract that seems to not exist in any official written form. Surely, if either side could actually produce a contract, this matter would've been settled a long time ago. Oh, and let's not forget about the whole attempted kidnapping angle either. Absolutely mental stuff.
What seems clear is that Bruma has played his last game for Sporting. Whether he has one year left on his contract or he's already a free agent, there's no way he can just go back to the club and resume the relationship as if nothing happened. So where does that leave us?
Sources in Portugal are now reporting that the matter, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, has been escalated to the Joint Arbitration Committee. The committee will deliberate and within 40 days figure out just exactly what's going on with Bruma's contract. Should they rule in the 18-year-old's favor, he'd be free to join any club. Should they rule in Sporting's favor, they could set a fee for which any club in Portugal could sign the player (Sporting is rumored to want 30 million). FIFA would have to get involved should any foreign club want to sign him.
Clear as mud then. Maybe it's better to just stay away altogether...