Sporting swoop for Schaars

AZ skipper departs Eredivisie for Portugal

Schaars: Has joined Sporting on a three-year deal

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Sporting Lisbon have continued their raid on the Eredivisie with the capture of AZ Alkmaar captain Stijn Schaars.

The Portuguese giants, who swooped for FC Utrecht ace Ricky van Wolfswinkel in a €5.4million (£4.8m) deal earlier this month, have now signed midfielder Schaars on a three-year contract.

The 27-year-old was thought to be bound for AZ's Dutch rivals PSV, but after talks were put on hold Sporting contacted him on Tuesday and negotiated a deal.

Netherlands international Schaars, capped 15 times for his country, was delighted to make the move to Portugal.

Dream

He told the website of his agent Sport Promotion: "It always has been a dream for me to go on a foreign adventure.

"After Sporting contacted me I didn't have to think about it for long. It's one of the best clubs from Portugal along with Porto and Benfica.

"I have had some good years at AZ and I want to thank the club for that, but I wanted to look further.

"In Holland I only wanted to play for PSV or Ajax and otherwise it had to be a foreign club."

Schaars ends a six-year stint in Alkmaar after joining AZ from boyhood club Vitesse back in 2005.

Sporting could look to the Dutch top-flight once more if they dip into the transfer market again this summer, with young Heerenveen striker Bas Dost also thought to be on their radar.