Renato Sanches to Manchester United: Benfica wonderkid would add style, substance - and goals

Louis van Gaal is close to bidding for the teenager, whose spectacular goal on his debut underlined his quality

George Cooper
Tuesday 19 January 2016 13:58
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Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Renato Sanches, the Benfica wonderkid who is drawing rave reviews in Portugal and could now be set for Old Trafford.

Sanches has been at Benfica since 2006, coming through the youth teams. He was in the reserves at the start of this season but was quickly promoted to the first team.

The 18-year-old scored a stunning goal on his debut against Academica de Coimbra in December, a stunning, swerving 30-yard striker that was hailed a ‘dream’ by the Benfica coach, Rui Vitoria. Such has been his progress he has been labelled by some as 'the new Ronaldinho'.

The teenager followed that goal up with another against Guimaraes earlier this month as his rapid progress continued.

A physically strong player with an eye for the incisive pass and a cool head under pressure, Sanches is arguably just the player United need to liven up their ponderous midfield.

He is also reportedly attracting interest from a number of other leading European clubs.

The teenager is adept at playing as a box-to-box midfielder or in a holding role.

United may have to wait until the summer to secure his services, however, and with the player’s contract running until 2021 they also have to negotiate a £58.8m buy-out clause.

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