Liverpool have reportedly overtaken Barcelona in the race to sign Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches from LOSC Lille this summer.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have fallen behind Premier League giants Liverpool in the transfer battle for the signing of Renato Sanches from Ligue 1 champions Lille.
The 23-year-old has done a solid job of resurrecting his career after a trainwreck of a spell with Bayern Munich between 2016 and 2019. Since arriving at Lille two years ago, Sanches has found his footing again, becoming an integral part of the team that pulled off a shock Ligue 1 title triumph win, while his forcing his way back into the Portugal national team as well.
Indeed, Sanches was one of the better formers for Fernando Santos’ side during their brief stay in the UEFA Euro 2020. All this has led to the big clubs once again circling around Sanches, with Barcelona and Liverpool the teams that have been most heavily linked with the midfielder.
Barcelona’s need for a new midfielder stems from the fact that Miralem Pjanic does not have a future at the club. Just a year after arriving, the 31-year-old Bosnian is on his way back to Juventus on a loan deal, while Ilaix Moriba has been frozen out of the squad due to a contract standoff as well.
With Pedri having played relentlessly over the past ten months, fatigue becomes a major factor. As a result, it is important that Barcelona have enough depth in the midfield department, making Sanches a viable transfer target this summer.
As for Liverpool, the Reds are in the market, looking for a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutchman left the Merseyside giants this summer after the expiry of his contract, joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer. This has created an opening in the midfield department at Anfield, especially with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also being linked with an exit.
Sanches, thus, has emerged as a transfer target for Jurgen Klopp & co. And, they may well be the front-runners in the race to sign the Portuguese midfielder as per the aforementioned report. With Barcelona’s financial situation being as dire as it is, they are unlikely to be able to afford a move for the 23-year-old, leaving Liverpool in the clear.
The report further adds that Lille are holding out for a transfer fee of around €40 million, which the Reds are capable of paying, meaning they are now leading Barcelona in pursuit of Sanches. What now remains to be seen is if Liverpool press ahead with their interest in the former Bayern Munich star or look elsewhere for reinforcements.