Sporting paid the Arabs £3million for Gauld in 2014 after the midfielder had earned comparisons to Lionel Messi. But the 21-year-old has struggled to find his best form in Portugal.
He was loaned to Vitoria Setubal last summer. Sporting coach Jorge Jesus recalled him in January, but has mostly left him in the Lisbon club’s B team. A potential move to top-flight newcomers Desportivo Chaves fell through.
Gauld won two first-team callups last month, but was an unused sub on both occasions.
Reports in the Portuguese capital now claim that Sporting will seek to cut their losses on the Scotland Under-21 star this summer. He is under contract at the Jose Alvalade Stadium until 2020, and has a buy-out clause of £50m. But Sporting will gladly accept any chance simply to get their money back on Aberdeen-born Gauld, whose dream move to Portugal is instead heading towards a nightmare.