Football: Sporting sack Silva to leave path clear for Jesus

Football: Sporting sack Silva to leave path clear for Jesus

“Marco Silva was today informed of his dismissal with just cause,” said Sporting, adding that “it has not been possible to reach an agreement” that would have seen him depart amicably.

 Benfica later confirmed that their emblematic coach Jesus, who led the Eagles to the Portuguese title in the season just finished, had left the club after failing to reach agreement on a new contract to replace his existing deal, which was due to expire on Jun 30.

He is now expected to sign a three-year deal with an annual salary of €6 million (US$6.8 million) gross, according to media reports on Thursday morning.

Silva arrived at the Estadio Jose Alvalade last summer from Estoril on a four-year deal to replace Monaco-bound Leonardo Jardim and is now expected to receive €1.5 million (US$1.7 million) in compensation. He has been linked with a move to Spanish side Sevilla should Unai Emery leave the Europa League winners.

Sporting won the Portuguese Cup last weekend, beating Braga on penalties in the final to win their first silverware since 2008. They also finished third to qualify for the Champions League, but Silva’s relationship with president Bruno de Carvalho had reportedly been strained for several months.

Jesus, 60, has won three league titles, five League Cups and one Portuguese Cup since joining Benfica in 2009, while he has also taken them to two Europa League finals. However, he does have links to the green and white side of the capital, having played for the Lions at the start of his career.

Benfica, who had offered Jesus a new contract on reduced terms despite his success at the Estadio da Luz, are expected to move to replace him with Rui Vitoria of Vitoria Guimaraes. They confirmed they had “started discussions with potential candidates” after “the end of negotiations over an extension” of Jesus’s deal.