Renato Sanches has hinted that he could leave Lille this month or in the summer, with Arsenal one of the clubs keen on signing him.
Renato Sanches has had a curious career to date. His rise through the ranks at Benfica and in the Portuguese national team drew admirers from around Europe. After a promising showing at UEFA Euro 2016, he earned a big move to Bayern Munich, but the transfer did not go according to plan.
Sanches began regressing when in Germany while a loan move to Swansea City did not work out either. Eventually, the 24-year-old joined Lille on a permanent transfer in 2019. He has since rediscovered his previous form at the Ligue 1 club and put himself on the map once more.
Sanches’s performances have attracted the big clubs again, with Arsenal and Liverpool interested in signing him. However, the Portuguese midfielder has refused to commit his long-term future to the club, where his contract expires in 18 months. Lille might be forced to cash in on him soon and might prefer a January sale as opposed to the summer.
Sanches has been tipped to to make his way to Arsenal by pundits and has now hinted at leaving Lille to join either the Gunners or AC Milan. His recent comments appeared on Daily Mirror, with the player putting himself in the shopping window.
Sanches said, “Maybe Milan and Arsenal are interested but I don’t know. I spoke with my agent, I know which clubs are calling me but I can’t say right now. But I know I’m ready. If an offer comes in, I’ll find out what’s best for me.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been extensively searching for a new midfielder in this window. Their primary objective is to fill the gap left by Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s loan exit, with Mohamed Elneny could still leave before deadline day.
Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo has been their priority target in January, although if they fail in the pursuit of the Brazilian, Sanches might come into the equation quickly. Arteta hinted towards the need to sign the right players after Arsenal’s goalless draw with Burnley.
Arteta said, “If it’s the right player, we can afford and we can do want we want to do, we will discuss it and come to the best possible decision. We are open. I think with the amount of things and the way we want to evolve the squad, we have to maximise every window in many different ways.”
Whether Sanches ends up being the said “right player” in midfield remains to be seen, although as things stand, that seems to be highly unlikely.