Premier League • England

Liverpool, Arsenal target admits he is pushing for transfer with latter namechecked

Renato Sanches Lille November 2021

Lille midfielder Renato Sanches says he is ready for another big transfer and has namechecked Arsenal as a potential destination.

After flopping at Bayern Munich and at Swansea on loan the Portugal midfielder has rebuilt his reputation in Ligue 1. Sanches, 24, went too big too soon when he arrived in Munich in 2016. He was just 18 when Bayern paid  an initial €35m – it was the highest fee at the time for a Portuguese player playing in the Primeira Liga.

Things did not go well though for Sanches and he was loaned to Swansea in 2017. There he played only 12 times and never appeared after January after picking up a series of injuries.

Then Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal said: “Renato knows he has had a very bad season. He is not at the level he was and when he had the injury in January, it finished him.”

Now though after a rejuvenating two-year spell in France, it appears he is “ready” to move on again.

Asked about his future, Sanches told L’Equipe: “Maybe Milan and Arsenal are interested but I don’t know.

“I spoke with my agent, I know which clubs are calling and which are not, but I can’t tell now. I know I’m ready.

“If an offer comes in, I’ll find out what’s best for me.

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Barcelona move collapsed

“When I arrived at Bayern, I was not ready to play in such a club. I was very young [18], and when I got ready, the opportunity to play with this team never came.

“Today I feel ready. I understand football better, I have more experience, I know what to do to play in this kind of club and that changes everything.”

Sanches, who is under contract until 2023, impressed for Portugal at Euro 2020 and was once again on the radar of the big clubs. Arsenal, Liverpool and Wolves were all said to be keen on the all-action midfielder.

However, a knee injury he picked up in August scuppered a move to Barcelona.

He added: “Many clubs were interested this summer, when I sustained the injury, I understood that I would have stayed at Lille. It was all done with Barcelona, I think it all collapsed because of the injury.”

READ MORE: Arteta demand puts Arsenal transfer on hold with star’s final destination hinted