According to reports in the Portuguese press, La Liga giants Real Madrid could rival Manchester United for the signing of Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches, who reportedly has a release clause of around €45 million.


Manchester United have been heavily linked with the 18-year-old since the January transfer window, during which Benfica reportedly rejected a bid from the Red Devils for the central midfielder. Renato Sanches’s agent Jorge Mendes subsequently confirmed that the Premier League giants had in fact seen a €30m (plus bonuses) offer turned down by the Portuguese giants.

It now appears that La Liga super-club Real Madrid are taking an interest in the teenager. Portuguese newspaper A Bola report that the Spanish side are among several top clubs keeping tab on Renato Sanches, with Bayern Munich also rumoured to be interested

Spanish daily AS, who quote A Bola as their source, explain Real Madrid’s involvement in more detail, claiming that the club would be interested in adding Renato Sanches to their squad in order to build for the future. The Portuguese would swell the ranks of talented young players currently on the club’s books, including Marco Asensio, Martin Ødegaard, Federico Valverde and Jesús Vallejo.

However, Renato Sanches is contracted to Benfica till 2021 and reportedly has a release clause of €45 million, while Real Madrid could also be impeded by the relationship that city rivals Atlético Madrid share with Benfica.

Jorge Mendes influence could be adding to Renato Sanches hype

Whatever one may think about super-agent Jorge Mendes, there is no disputing that the Portuguese is brilliant at his job. By making Manchester United’s offer public, Mendes added to the hype surrounding his client, while it is also entirely possible that he could be behind some of the stories in the Portuguese press.

After all, Renato Sanches has only 14 professional top-flight league games to his name, and just over 1,000 minutes of top-flight league football. There is no doubt that the youngster is gifted, but even by today’s standards, the fees being talked about for his potential transfer are simply absurd. If reports about United’s bid in January are true, then any offers that will now be made to Benfica — by Real Madrid or indeed anyone else — will exceed €40 million.

Not all of Mendes’ clients have turned out to be top players, and perhaps the more discerning European clubs will look elsewhere and try and obtain more value for that sort of money.

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