Manchester United fans were left disappointed when, on May 10 of this year, it was announced that Bayern Munich had won the race to sign Benfica’s talented attacking midfielder Renato Sanches.
Although many of the supporters who expressed their frustration with the news on social media had probably only seen glimpses of the 18-year-old in action - either on YouTube or in last season’s Champions League - those glimpses were enough to conclude this was a player with a bright future ahead of him.
United fans’ disappointment then grew during this summer’s European Championships in France. Sanches produced a series of eye-catching displays and helped Portugal lift the famous Henri Delaunay Cup.
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However, had the Red Devils appointed Jose Mourinho midway through last season - this appeared to be a possibility with Louis van Gaal under considerable pressure around the turn of the New Year - it might have been a very different story.
Mourinho has admitted he would have fought to help United sign his fellow Portuguese after watching him in action on multiple occasions.
Mourinho would have fought hard for Sanches
"I arrived late. 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,” the 53-year-old was quoted as telling Sport TV by the Manchester Evening News.
“Manchester United watched Renato many times and maybe I did it even more. In so much time at home, I watched many Benfica and Portuguese league games, I got to know the boy better with time.
“He’s in a big club, in a league where he’ll certainly be the champion. The club have players of very high level which belong to the structure, a little like Benfica.”
But would United have still signed Pogba?
However, had United signed Sanches, who knows if Mourinho would have been allowed to break the world transfer record on Paul Pogba.
The France international is expected to complete his move from Juventus at the start of next week.
Will Manchester United regret not signing Renato Sanches? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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