MANCHESTER UNITED are hopeful of signing teenage midfielder Renato Sanches from Benfica.
The Old Trafford giants have been monitoring the Portuguese international for some time now and their interest has increased with every glowing scouting report on the 18-year-old.
Manchester Evening News reports: “United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been working on a deal with Benfica and the Red Devils are now clear favourites to land the player for a potential final fee of around £40m.
“United are keen to get him to Old Trafford and are ready to trigger that clause to keep him out of the hands of other suitors around Europe.”
Renato was a product of Benfica’s youth system, having joined them as a nine-year-old in 2006.
The club fast-tracked him to the senior ranks and were so keen to keep him – or at least ensure a big payday if he were to be lured away from the Estadio de la Luz – that they gave him a contract last November with an escape clause set at £35m.
While he may still be far from the finished product, Renato’s potential is clearly huge.
After making his first-team debut for Benfica last October, he’s come on in leaps and bounds and with great vision and an eye for goal, is just what United need in the middle of the park.
With the emergence of fellow youngsters Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Timothy Fosu-Mensah this season at United, the addition of Renato would certainly make for an exciting future at Old Trafford.