Joelson Fernandes has an agreement in principle with Sporting CP over a contract extension, according to Rui Santos in Portugal.

Sporting's Portuguese forward Joelson Fernandes (L) challenges Vitoria Setubal's Portuguese forward Zequinha Branco during the Portuguese League football match between Sporting CP and Vitoria FC at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on July 21, 2020. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Sporting forward Joelson Fernandes (L) challenges Vitoria Setubal’s Zequinha Branco on July 21, 2020. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to Portuguese outlet SIC Noticias, Rui Santos claimed Joelson Fernandes agreed to a deal in principle for a contract extension with the club. This update comes in the midst of contrasting claims that he’s close to a move to Arsenal.

Most recently, reports suggested Arsenal representatives were in Lisbon for the last couple of days to hold negotiations with the player’s agent Kia Joorabchian and Sporting CP over the transfer.

There’s certainly something going on in the Joelson case, as he suddenly dropped out of their squad over the weekend. He made the bench for the previous seven matches consecutively.

That match against Benfica was the final game of the Portuguese campaign. So rather than expecting to watch the player in action again this weekend, you’re better off passing the time on virtual sports bets.

The previous claims of Arsenal’s interest were always a bit dodgy, though, and we pointed that out at the time. A Bola wrote that the club were willing to pay Joelson’s €45m release clause, which seems extortionate.

The more likely option was always that Joorabchian was using Arsenal’s name to get his client a better deal at Sporting.