Fulham goalkeeper Ricardo Batista has signed for Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

The Under 21 international had been at Craven Cottage for four years after signing from Vitoria Setubal, but he never managed to play in the Premier League.

He spent time on loan at MK Dons and Wycombe, but with just one-year left on his current deal manager Roy Hodgson has allowed him to leave.

Batista has been lured back to his homeland by Sporting as a replacement for Vladimir Stojkovic, who is currently on trial at Everton and is expected to seal a permanent move to Goodison Park.

Batista has signed a three-year deal after Sporting paid a nominal fee to Fulham for his services.

“It was a great surprise,” he told Sporting’s website.

“There were a number of clubs interested but agreement was reached with Sporting and it was good for me to come here.”