At the turn of the year we’re second in the table but the January transfer window is open. Here I will round up how we’re getting on but also explain how I set up my recruitment. As a selling club I find it really important to first try and predict which players will be sold but also have a recruitment plan in place in case there is a surprise.

League Table

Second is a great spot to be, there’s a slight gap between us and first and third so it’s going to be a hard run in so we don’t want to weaken the squad too much with player sales, Which is always a concern. Especially with the first window closed.

Player Performances


With 3 players in the top 10 scorers it shows we are scoring plenty, Gyokeres averaging over one a game, Shows why we have started so well.


Nuno Santos leads the way as a wing back attack he’s getting down the line and getting some lovely crosses into the box. It’s not just him though Morita the RPM and Edwards the Winger both rank in the top 10. But Santos is the stand out, with the AP sitting narrower it leaves the whole wing for him to run forward and impact the attacking play.

Scoring for fun

Averaging over 3 goals a game is great to see, I mentioned in the save introduction I played defensive last edition so it’s great to see my switch to attacking his paid off. I feel this is down to my tactic, We always have 7 bodies forward in attack creating overloads in and around their box which is increasing our chances. I see a lot of tap ins for goals where we are just finishing off moves.

Europa League

Europa is going well as well, we’ve qualified for the knockouts and Santos again leads the way with assists and we’re the most highest scoring team with goals per game. This shows the style we are playing works in Europe too.


We are into the Semi final of the Allianz Cup with a big game vs Benfica coming up.

Knocked out of the Taca De Portugal Placard by Vitoria is not great but overall we’re doing well so I’m not too worried. We heavily rotated for this one.

Wanted players

Now here lies the problem, we’re doing well lots of our players are wanted. So we have to be ready for any incoming bids.

Recruitment Focuses

To be ready I’ve set up a series of Recruitment focuses since the start of the season. Focusing on markets where players would likely see us as a step up and players under 25 looking for that stepping stone.

From this I then created shortlists for each position



In goal Adan is leaving in the summer to retire so we will be looking for a new number 1. I also want the goalkeeper to be more proactive with the ball. Adan doesn’t really suit the style but I’ve played him as a Sweeper keeper on support to encourage short passing but next season I want to switch to attack and find a more playmaking goalkeeper. Andrew tops the list from Gil Vicente.


Diomande is a wonderkid on the game and he won’t be around long so I need to be ready incase we get a bid.


The same goes for Inacio. Another wonderkid who already has the big clubs watching him.


RWB doesn’t seem an immediate worry but I have a few targets just in case.


With Santos in the form of his life will someone look  to take him off our hands. Two young prospects lined up.

Playmaking DM

I don’t think we will lose any DMs yet but long term we could.

Mobile DM


Marcus Edwards has been making noise about wanting a new challenge so I have a few targets on standby.


Pedro Gonclaves is hot stuff at the moment there are a lot of clubs watching him every week. Can any of these players replace him.


Again I’m not expecting a striker to leave But I want to be prepared.

Transfer Targets

Once I have my shortlist built I then add my targets to transfer targets and place them on hold. So as soon as I need them I can tell the DOF to start talks. I order the targets 1-3, If he fails with the first player he automatically moves on to the next one in the list. It is important to put them on hold or he will start making bids.


Luis Neto €26,000pw

Neto was due to leave on a free in the summer, on high wages and hadn’t played a minute so I offered him out for free to save €725,000 in wages. He moves to Russia.

Pedro Goncalves €35,000pw

The big move of the window. Gonclaves to Newcastle for €65m. This is a great move for both clubs and player. He is entering his prime so Newcastle get a talent for a decent fee. We then make €42.5m profit off the fee Sporting paid Famalicao in 2020. We get €44m added to the transfer budget to reinvest in the team and the club bank balance goes up. So after 11 goals, 5 assists in 21 games this season we send him on his way.

Now armed with a decent budget I wanted to focus on 3 areas. 1) An immediate replacement 2) A Goalkeeper for next season 3) I had turnt down a few bids for Inacio, So I wanted a replacement for him if possible.



My number 1 Goalkeeper target, Signed now but will spend the rest of the season back on loan because I don’t want to upset the current form we’re in changing too much. €14.5m for our long term number 1 feels a great deal.

I was looking through our LW targets and none of them felt ready made replacements, Then I looked at Torres and compared him with Gonclaves, They are similar players just with Torres being 2 years younger and only €15m So I wanted to bring him in for our LW spot.

As I said above Inacio was wanted but nobody made what I felt was a fair offer but I think he will leave in the summer so I wanted to get Gomez in now so he can bed in for a few months and cover any potential injuries. €7.5m seems a potential steal if we can develop him and sell him on.

Transfer Conclusion

Transfer fees in Transfer fees out Profit/loss
€66m €38.3m €27.7m
Wages saved Wages spent
€61,000pw €57,700pw €3,300pw

Two players out Three in with money in the bank.
I’m happy with this window. We have taken one player and invested in three positions for the next few years, whilst making money for the club which is vital. Going into the summer to have our long term Goalkeeper and LCB already in eases the pressure on bringing in too many players at once.
With the team in a good place we didn’t need to upgrade in numerous positions.

New Assistant

My Assistant got poached by Barcelona so Javi Venta now comes in as his replacement.

Hopefully this post showed how I set up my recruitment to prepare ahead of transfer windows and updated how my save is going at the same time.




  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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2 thoughts on “Sporting CP – Recruitment Strategy

  1. Loving this series and another amazing post!
    Was wondering if you’d be able to share what parameters you put in the recruitment focuses, excluding age and location, if any.

    Looking forward to the next post! Thanks again!

  2. I don’t do DOF saves, but I am bookmarking this in case I do. 🙂
    Torres is a really good pickup, he’s been a go to for me in a few saves because he’s relatively cheaper than many of the other options out there, which means if he does decide to move, you are almost always making a profit on him. Tried signing Andrew in my Dynamo save but by the time I could afford him he was entrenched at Corinthians and didn’t want to leave.
    Looking forward to the next season!

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