Benfica calm over future of United and Arsenal target

Date published: Tuesday 2nd February 2016 5:50

Renato Sanches: Joined Bayern Munich earlier this summer

Benfica have refused to panic over the prospect of losing Manchester United and Arsenal target Renato Sanches in the summer.

Sanches, 18, was reported to be heading to Old Trafford before Monday’s transfer deadline, but the move never materialised although United are believed to be keeping tabs on the player, who has been capped up to U19 level by Portugal.

Portuguese outlet O Jogo claimed United had made a £30.4million bid for Sanches, who only made his first-team debut in October 2015 as a substitute in a 4-0 win over Tondela Lisbon. He has made 15 appearances and scored two goals.

Benfica coach Rui Vitoria though remains calm over the youngster’s future.

“Renato is mature beyond his age,” Vitoria told SportTV .

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“He is being protected by a group of players who support him and are giving him a lot of help. This situation is not difficult for us. If things happen, they happen.

“We all know that’s the way it is. There is no point in worrying over things that have yet to happen.

“There is no drama about all this. The team is very stable and that helps dealing with speculation like this.”

Sanches, who turns 19 in August, has a contract with Benfica that runs until 2021 and is believed to have a huge release clause of £60million.

Therefore it’s no surprise that they kept hold of Sanches in the winter window and with Arsenal also believed to be interested in the player, who joined Benfica’s youth set-up as a nine-year-old in 2006, they may well entertain a summer auction for the player.

Arsene Wenger is believed to have sent scout Luis Boa Morte, who is also a coach at Sporting Lisbon, to watch Sanches as they prepare a summer bid.

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