Barcelona have reportedly agreed personal terms with Lille’s Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches, who is also a transfer target for Liverpool.
According to an exclusive report from Le10 Sport, Barcelona have taken a step closer to signing Portuguese international midfielder Renato Sanches from Ligue 1 champions LOSC Lille. The Catalans have reached a contractual agreement with the 23-year-old former Bayern Munich star.
Even as the dust settles on Lionel Messi’s shock exit from Barcelona after the club’s inability to renew his contract owing to financial restrictions, it seems like the Blaugrana are already planning their next move in the transfer market despite president Joan Laporta indicating in his conference that more new signings would be difficult to pull off.
Midfield is an area that manager Ronald Koeman has been intent on strengthening this summer and rightly so, considering that Miralem Pjanic is on his way out of Camp Nou after just a year while Ilaix Moriba is staring at an uncertain future as well. Coupled with the pre-season injury to Frenkie de Jong and the lack of faith shown in Riqui Puig, a new midfielder becomes a necessity for Barcelona.
Georginio Wijnaldum was heavily linked for the good part of last year but ended up moving to PSG instead, where it looks like he will be joined by Messi as well. Since then, numerous names have been linked with a move to Camp Nou, but it seems like the Catalans have narrowed in on Sanches, who is also being courted by Liverpool.
Indeed, the 23-year-old has been high on the wishlist of Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp, who is on the lookout for a replacement for the aforementioned Wijnaldum. The Dutchman’s departure has left a massive void in the midfield department for Liverpool. In addition to that, the unreliable nature and uncertain futures of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make the addition of a midfielder pivotal.
Sanches has done brilliantly to get his career back on track after the trainwreck of a spell at Bayern Munich. Since joining Lille in 2019, he has grown into an important player for Les Dogues and played a key role in their title triumph last term. Given his age and style of play, the Portugal international has the tools to be the ideal fit in the Liverpool side.
However, it seems like the Reds are set to be beaten by Barcelona in the race for the 23-year-old. Indeed, as per the aforementioned report, Sanches and his camp have reached an agreement with the Blaugrana over a contract.
As to how they pay for his transfer, it will certainly be interesting to see given the financial plight. A loan-to-buy arrangement could be on the cards, the report adds, although Lille are likely to want to rake cash in for their prized midfield asset. An intriguing period for Barcelona as they prepare for life without Lionel Messi.