Sporting Lisbon are showing interesting in Juan Agudelo, according to No Short Corners. The talks are still very preliminary, but the Portuguese club could be his home for the next year.
Agudelo is without a club because he was not granted a UK work permit. The American joined Stoke City last January and had his work permit appeal denied so he spent the next six months on loan at FC Utrecht. The club and player believed his appeal would be successful in the summer, but it was not and he still cannot play in the UK so he has to go on loan again or be sold.
Sporting showed interest in Terrence Boyd before he signed with Red Bull Leipzig so they clearly are looking for a striker and have no issue chasing Americans. Agudelo could be their next target as they look for reinforcements up front.
Last season, Sporting leaned on Fredy Montero and Islam Slimani up top, but both have been linked to moves away from the club this summer. Montero has been brilliant since signing from the Seattle Sounders and Slimani scored a pair of goals in the World Cup, raising his stock. Sporting are a good club, and one of the biggest in Portugal, but they make a habit of buying relatively young players and selling them when they can make a profit, something they may be able to do with Montero and Slimani.
If Sporting were to sell Montero and/or Slimani, Agudelo would be a perfect fit to slide in and compete for the starting spot or be the primary backup. Agudelo's style, where he often drifts wide and can play well with the ball on the ground, suits Sporting's way of play and the Portuguese Liga's as well.
Any move to Sporting would presumably be a loan with an option to buy. Sporting like to buy young then sell high and Agudelo could be just that. If he impresses and Sporting want to keep him, they can, and Stoke can get paid for a player they signed for free and hasn't gotten a work permit yet.
Agudelo has just a month left to find a club and there haven't been a ton of rumors as to where he will go. He has been training with Orlando City and early in the summer, he was linked to several clubs in the Bundesliga and Eredivisie. Now Sporting is in the mix and at 21 years old, coming off of a good last year, Agudelo needs to find the right one.
Agudelo's United States future is in the balance, as is his career at Stoke. He needs national team appearances if he is ever going to have a successful work permit appeal and he needs to play well to get national team call-ups. That means finding a home for the year, the right one, and shining.