Manchester United have reportedly scouted Benfica’s Renato Sanches on the orders of prospective new manager Jose Mourinho.
Recruitment staff from United and Italian giants Juventus were in attendance at the Estadio da Luz for Porto’s 2-1 raid on Friday to watch one of Europe’s hottest talents.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, the Red Devils were acting on instructions from Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea in December, as rumours continue to link the combustible Portuguese with Louis van Gaal’s job at Old Trafford.
Real Madrid have been known to be interested in the 18-year-old who provided an assist for Konstantinos Mitroglou, on loan from Championship side Fulham, but could not prevent his side from slipping to defeat in the Portuguese derby.
Sanches has made 18 appearances in all competitions this year, scoring two goals, and also made his Champions League debut against Astana. United are believed to be undergoing a redevelopment of their player recruitment set-up after spending £320m on just under three trophy-less years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, was quizzed by investors last week on United’s failure to sign players cheaply like Leicester City, the Premier League leaders, have done so effectively in recent years. “Leicester is a fantastic reference point for everybody this year,” Woodward told Nomura analyst Matthew Walker.
“Some players are bought by other clubs with an eye to them developing into something special in a few years’ time. Whereas there’s a bit more pressure on some of the other clubs to bring in players who are going to be hitting the ground running and top players verging on world class almost immediately.
“So there is a slightly different market in which people are buying.”
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