Cast your minds back to May and Manchester United were in hot pursuit of Portuguese wonderkid Renato Sanches.
Even before Jose Mourinho took over at Old Trafford, it seemed as though the Red Devils would secure the services of the highly-rated 18-year-old. However, after months of speculation, the midfielder opted to join Bayern Munich in a £35 million deal.
It left some United supporters scratching their heads believing that they were leading the race to land the youngster. And that head scratching would have turned into head shaking after they watched on as Sanches’ impressive performances helped Portugal win Euro 2016.
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However, fear not United fans. Your club didn’t lose the battle to sign Sanches, they simply pulled out of the deal. That’s according to the Independent who claim the Red Devils passed up the chance to sign the Portuguese to focus on signing Paul Pogba.
It seems the club are closing in on a deal for Pogba with Sky Italy claiming they are set to offer a record £87 million fee to Juventus for their star man. However, with the Old Lady wanting plenty of add-ons included in the deal, it’s highly likely that the transfer will eventually cost nearer to £100 million.
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While United opted for Pogba over Sanches, they are aware that they may need to create space to fit the 23-year-old into their squad. Therefore, according to the same report, Mourinho is likely to sell James Wilson, Tyler Blackett and Guillermo Varela after the trio were left out of the squad’s trip to China.
Bayern Munich will certainly be glad that Pogba took United’s attention though, leaving them free to complete the signing of Sanches. While many believed that £35 million for someone so young is a crazy fee, there is one man who certainly doesn’t.
Giggs on Sanches
That man is Ryan Giggs. The Welshman has been United’s assistant manager for the previous two seasons and believes that, after scouting him throughout the previous campaign, Sanches will definitely will up to his hefty price-tag.
“One hundred per cent worth it,” Giggs told ITV when asked about Sanches’ value.
“I saw a lot of his games last season. He’s a kid with a lot of talent.”
“Six, nine months ago, he was on fire,” Giggs continued about watching Sanches play for Benfica. “Then his form dipped. But you’d expect that.“
A good decision?
Whether United made the right decision in turning down Sanches to focus on Pogba will only be discovered in the coming years. However, Sanches has already got the better of the United target during the Euro 2016 final, with his nation lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy at the expense of Pogba’s France.