Jose Mourinho invested heavily in his Manchester United squad in the summer, spending more than £150 million on four new arrivals.
Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba all arrived in Mourinho’s attempt to return United from the wilderness.
However, there was one player Mourinho missed out on. Bayern Munich beat United to the signing of one of the brightest talents in world football, Renato Sanches.
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The German champions paid Benfica £27.5 million pounds for the 19-year-old, who shone at Euro 2016.
Mourinho admitted that had he arrived at United earlier than May, he would have fought to seal Sanches’ arrival. But it turns out that the United boss never had a chance.
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Sanches has explained just why he opted for the Allianz Arena over Old Trafford, admitting his head was turned as soon as he heard about Bayern’s interest.
“I had a good feeling about it right away when I heard about Bayern Munich's interest," the Portuguese international is quoted as saying by Goal.
“They really put in a lot of effort and I immediately got a feeling the people in charge believed in me as a player.
"That was the decisive factor behind my decision to join Bayern.”
Bayern had more to offer
Certainly Bayern Munich were a more attractive proposition in the summer. They had just clinched their fourth straight Bundesliga title while United missed out on the Champions League by finishing fifth in the Premier League.
It makes Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba’s decisions to swap Champions League football at Borussia Dortmund and Juventus for Old Trafford rather surprising.
Bayern capitalised on the the uncertainty at United to sign Sanches. Louis van Gaal wanted to sign the teenager but he was sacked in May, giving the Bavarians the opportunity to seal the deal.
“We knew very well that Renato had a firm offer from Manchester United, Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bild.
"I heard that the United deal couldn’t be completed, as they didn't know who their next manager would be.
"We invited Benfica's president and Sanches' agent to Madrid and that night we shook hands on the transfer."
By the time Mourinho signed his United contract, Bayern had already completed the signing.
“I arrived [at Manchester United] late," Mourinho told SportTV, per the Daily Mail. "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.