19-year old Renato Sanches has seen a meteoric rise in his career over the last year. Making his senior debut for Portuguese giants Benfica in 2015, Sanches helped the Eagles to win both the league and domestic cup. Soon after, he was named to Portugal’s Euro 2016 squad where he won the competition’s Young Player Of The Year award, leading his country to its first European championship. Coming off the tournament, German giants Bayern Munich signed Sanches for £30 million although the starlet has struggled at the Bavarian side, only starting six games and scoring no goals.
With his struggles in Germany, Sanches is being linked to a move away from Bayern. According to Spanish news outlet Don Balon via the Express, Cristiano Ronaldo has told Real Madrid that he wants them to sign Sanches. Captain of the Portuguese national team, Ronaldo is very familiar with the youngster’s playing style and he believes in his potential. The club is expected to make a roster overhaul, with big names such as James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, and even Gareth Bale being linked to summer moves. Real president Florentino Perez is reportedly furious with a large number of players after Real’s 3-2 loss in last month’s El Clasico, making a shakeup more likely.
Sanches has also been heavily linked to Manchester United. With Bayern looking to have Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka lined up as his replacement, they are said to be willing to let Sanches go for the same amount that he was signed for. United were linked to him after the Euros but United’s sacking of Louis Van Gaal and the delayed appointment of Jose Mourinho resulted in the move falling through.
Mourinho said that if he had been at United earlier, he would have had a better chance at signing his compatriot. ‘I arrived late, I signed in May, we started talking a week before, but completely out of the process. If I had arrived earlier, I’d fight for him,’ the United manager said in April. “Manchester United watched Renato many times and maybe I did it even more. In so much time at home, I watched many Benfica and Portuguese league games, I got to know the boy better with time. He’s in a a big club, in a league where he’ll certainly be the champion. The club have players of very high level which belong to the structure, a little like Benfica.”