Calciomercato reports that German giants Bayern Munich are exploring the possibility of bringing back former European Golden Boy winner, Renato Sanches, back to the Allianz Arena.
The Portugal international played for the Bavarians from 2016 to 2019 and won six trophies at the club. However, he only made 53 appearances in total because he could not quite fit into the Bavarian’s system at the time despite all of his talents.
He has since found his best form again after moving to the current French champions LOSC Lille for €20 million, even playing a key role in their title-winning 2020/21 season.
His renewed form has seen interest from big clubs in him rekindled, and Bayern Munich are now the latest club to throw their hat in the ring for the 24-year-old.
Interest in Sanches comes from the possibility of Bayern Munich losing a few midfielders in the coming transfer windows. Corentin Tolisso, Marc Roca and Mickael Cuisance are the most likely to leave the club in the coming transfer windows and though Bayern’s executives have claimed that the club will be doing no business in January, they will still need reinforcements for a midfield that could be stretched thin by the end of the season.
Bayern snapped up Sanches from Benfica after his Golden Boy win in 2016, paying €35 million for his services. After sending him on loan to Swansea City and trying to no avail to find a place for him in the squad, they eventually let him go to Lille.
Sanches wasn’t ready for Bayern, says club chief
Bayern Munich’s former CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who sanctioned the deal to bring Sanches to the club, has now come out to admit that he and the club shouldn’t have signed the Portuguese midfielder at the time they signed him, also saying that he would make a better fit for the Bavarians now.
“I think we got him a year or two too early,” Rummenigge said. “But back then we had to sign him. At 18, he was totally hyped in Europe. We paid €35 million, which was a lot of money, he was voted Golden Boy. But somehow the performances weren’t there.
“When Jupp Heynckes came back to replace Carlo Ancelotti, he wanted this player (Sanches). Jupp said, ‘I want this player back (from loan). I want to take this player to the level where he belongs’ — unfortunately, we couldn’t bring him back due to FIFA regulations.
“I think Jupp Heynckes and Renato Sanches would have been an exciting project,” Rummenigge added. “I think with Jupp, Renato might still be playing in Munich today. I watched Lille against Wolfsburg recently and he was one of the best on the pitch, they won partly thanks to him.”
Sanches also agreed in a recent interview that he was not ready for such a big move.
“When I arrived at Bayern, I was not ready to play in such a club. I was very young,” he said. “And when I got ready, the opportunity to play with this team never came.
“Today I feel ready. I understand football better, I have more experience, I know what to do to play in this kind of club and that changes everything.”
Sanches has a gentleman’s agreement with Lille to begin discussions with any clubs who are interested in him. So far, Arsenal, AC Milan and Wolverhampton Wanderers have expressed interest in him, and Bayern are now in the running.
Sanches himself has dropped hints which the interested clubs have looked out for. He told L’Équipe: “Milan and Arsenal are maybe interested, I spoke with my agent about it but I can’t say any more.
“I just know I’m ready. If the offer arrives I’ll evaluate it. Milan are a great club – historic, classy. I really like them.”