Renato Sanches to Manchester United: Benfica midfielder 'on verge' of agreeing £46m move after London talks

Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira flew to London on Thursday to discuss the transfer of the highly-rated 18-year-old

Jack de Menezes
Friday 29 April 2016 08:22
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Renato Sanches is reported to be close to a £46m switch to Manchester United
Renato Sanches is reported to be close to a £46m switch to Manchester United

Manchester United are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Benfica wonderkid Renato Sanches in a deal that could cost as much as £46m, according to reports.

Sanches has caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs after becoming the latest player to come through Benfica’s talented academy, and the Portuguese midfielder has been repeatedly linked with a summer move, with United believed to be favourites to land the 18-year-old.

That now looks close to confirmed after the Daily Mail reported that Benfica’s president Luis Felipe Vieira arrived in London on Thursday night to complete negotiations with the Premier League club, which – if agreed – will be United’s first signing of the year after they remained inactive in the January transfer window.

Sanches has a release clause in his contract which stands at close to £60m, but it’s believed that United have been able to talk the Portuguese club down to an initial fee of £31m, which could rise to £46m with add-ons included. Despite winning just two international caps so far, Sanches is tipped to have a bright future and is tied down to Benfica until 2021 – hence why United are having to pay such an inflated fee for an 18-year-old.

The teenager made his Portugal debut this season after making 42 appearances at youth level, and his has been a regular in Benfica’s Primeira Liga campaign since graduating from the reserve team at the end of October, scoring two goals along the way.

His immediate attentions will be on trying to secure the Primeira Liga title given that Benfica lead Sporting Lisbon by just two points with five matches remaining, with Sanches’s side able to extend the lead when they face Vitoria Guimaraes on Friday night.

Bu talks between United and Sanches’s camp are expected to go smoothly given that his agent, Jorge Mendes, has extremely good relations with United after structuring deals for Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria and David De Gea in the past, and the so-called ’super-agent’ has also held talks over a possible appointment of Jose Mourinho should Louis van Gaal be sacked in the summer.

Renato Sanches has a buy-out clause of £60m in his current contract

Sanches’s box-to-box style has seen him compared to Dutch greats Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf, and he is rated as the most talented teenager to come through Portuguese youth football since Cristiano Ronaldo emerged at Sporting in 2002.

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