Manchester United look set to miss out once again on long-term target Renato Sanches amid reports the player has held talks over a move to Barcelona.
United had hoped to land the teenager from Benfica last summer, but the delay in the appointment of Jose Mourinho – and the fact the club were working on the Paul Pogba deal – meant the Portuguese youngster instead opted for a move to Bayern Munich.
But his time at the Allianz Arena has not gone as expected. After making just nine starts in all competitions during the season, reports have suggested that Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti will sanction the player’s departure.
It’s not yet clear whether Bayern would accept a sale of the player and likely get their money back on their €35m investment, or simply grant him a season-long loan in a bid to see him pick up valuable game time.
Either way, it seems a move to Old Trafford won’t be happening this summer either.
According to Spanish media outlet Diario Gol, the 19-year-old Bayern Munich man has his heart set on a move to Barcelona after his agent held preliminary talks with the La Liga giants.
The report says new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is looking for new young talent in his central area to replace the ageing Andres Iniesta and the departing Arda Turan.
Sanches, whose agent is the same as that of Mourinho, Jorge Mendes, is understood to be seen as a cheaper option to Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and PSG’s Marco Verratti as the Catalan giants look to try to reclaim the Spanish league title back from Real Madrid next season.
Diario Gol believes Mourinho has also sounded out Mendes over a move for Sanches, but the player has his heart set on a switch to Catalonia, where he feels his first-team prospects would be better served than at Old Trafford.