Cyrus Christie linked with surprise move to Sporting Lisbon
Last seen as a centre midfielder for Republic of Ireland, in the dying embers of Martin O'Neill's time in charge, Cyrus Christie could be off to sunnier climes.
The 26-year-old had to wait a while for his Premier League debut but it arrived last season with Fulham. Cyrus Christie played 23 league games as Fulham lasted only one season in the top division.
Scott Parker is the permanent manager now, after getting the job in a caretaker capacity near the end of last season, and he has a battle on his hands to try keep top players like Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ryan Sessegnon at the club. Dutch winger Ryan Babel has already moved on and Christie may yet follow his lead.
It has been reported by The Mirror that Christie could be on the move this summer and that Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon were leading the way to secure his signature.
Christie has 22 caps and two goals for Ireland but has not featured for them in 2019. Regular game-time in the Primera Liga and the Europa League may be enough to perk Mick McCarthy's interest, although it would be best to see him as a defender rather than a midfield stop-gap, as O'Neill did.
Christie, meanwhile, has taken to social media to distance himself from reports claiming his 2017 move to Middlesbrough, among others, was under suspicion.
The Daily Mail has run a story suggesting that 'Boro feel ex-boss Gary Monk had a potential conflict of interest when signing Christie and three other players - Ashley Fletcher, Ryan Shotton and Marvin Johnson - in the summer 2017 transfer window.
The report says James Featherstone, who is Monk's agent, made contact with clubs about deals for players before Middlesbrough were ready to push ahead with them.
Christie has moved quickly to deny any link to Featherstone.
'All the reports I’ve been tagged in from various different news outlets regarding to a situation that has nothing to do with me or my representatives at ARETÉ
'So just to clarify after the false reports. James Featherstone never was my agent and never has been my agent. Thanks.'
All the reports I’ve been tagged in from various different news outlets regarding to a situation that has nothing to do with me or my representatives @AreteLtd . So just to clarify after the false reports James featherstone never was my agent and never has been my agent . Thanks
— Cyrus Christie (@cyruschristie) July 5, 2019
Monk did not see out the season with Middlesbrough while Christie eventually moved on to Fulham.