Arsenal are reportedly ready to lock horn with Premier League arch-rivals Manchester United after they scouted Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches, who has been one of United’s top target.
United have scouted the player have scouted the player since the last year and were almost signing him during the January transfer window. It has now been reported that the Gunners have joined the race to sign the young midfielder after he impressed their scouts on Saturday, when he played for the full 90 minutes during Benfica’s 2-1 league win at Academia.
Although reports had earlier suggested that the Red Devils had started negotiations with club and the midfielder to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer, this has not stop other Bayern Munich, PSV Eidhoven and now Arsenal from joining the race for the 18-year-old.
Manager Arsene Wenger has added the 18-year-old in his list of potential midfield targets of the summer, considering midfield veterans Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky each looks set to leave the Emirates Stadium when their contracts expire this summer.
Sanches has enjoyed a great breakthrough season at the Estadio da Luz, establishing himself as a first-team regular and breaking into the senior Portugal squad. One stumbling block to any prospective move of the 18-year-old is Benfica’s asking price of £60 million. Sanches is predominantly a box-to-box midfielder known for his strength, passing ability and composure on the ball.
For his Portuguese roots, he’s often called ‘New Cristiano Ronaldo’. He’s a player who likes to try and help dictate the tempo in the Benfica midfield, with his influence earning him a regular starting role.