Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on a potential January move for Lille midfielder Renato Sanches but could face competition from Manchester United.
According to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, as carried by the Express, Liverpool are interested in signing Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches in the January transfer window. However, the Reds might face stiff competition from arch-rivals Manchester United for his signing.
Having come through the ranks at Benfica, the 23-year-old burst to fame during the 2015/16 campaign before sealing a transfer to Bayern Munich. However, things did not work out well for Sanches in Germany and after three difficult years on the club’s books, which included a disastrous loan stint at Swansea, he signed for Lille last year.
Since moving to France, Sanches has managed to get his career back on track, as he helped Lille finish fourth in the Ligue 1 last season and has continued in the same vein of form in the ongoing campaign. The Portuguese international has played 40 times in eighteen months for the club, scoring five goals and setting up one more.
Sanches’ rise to prominence in France has once again put him back on the radars of who’s who in Europe, with Liverpool emerging as one of his most ardent suitors ahead of the January transfer window.
The Reds’ bolstered their midfield unit in the summer, bringing in Sanches’ former Bayern Munich teammate Thiago Alcantara. However, the Spaniard has struggled with coronavirus and subsequent injury issues early in his spell at Anfield.
Furthermore, Jurgen Klopp has had to utilise Fabinho as a centre-back, and the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have struggled for form and fitness as well. As a result, the Liverpool manager hasn’t been able to rotate his central midfielders effectively.
Add to it, the uncertainty surrounding the future of midfield mainstay Georginio Wijnaldum, who continues to be linked with Barcelona as his contract nears its expiry, it is understandable as to why Liverpool are looking to bolster their midfield with Sanches.
However, they could now be set to face competition from bitter rivals Manchester United in pursuit of the Portuguese international. The Red Devils were one of the favourites to land Sanches back in 2016 but were beaten to the punch by Bayern at the time.
However, having seen him flourish in France, the 20-time English champions could revisit their interest in the 23-year-old as the situation surrounding Paul Pogba continues to unravel. The fact that they share a good relationship with Sanches’ agent, Jorge Mendes, only serves to further fuel the speculations.
Having briefly lost his way, Sanches has worked hard to get his career back on track again and it is a testament to his talent and potential that the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United are considering a swoop for him in January. It will be interesting to see if either of the clubs do make a formal approach for the midfielder in the coming weeks.