Manchester United are very close to securing a move for Benfica starlet Renato Sanches this January as club officials recently met the youngster’s agent in London. Louis van Gaal has proved earlier that he is ready to spend huge amounts on youngsters and Sanches looks like certainly next in line to take the United legacy forward.

According to a report from Daily Mail, the Red Devils want to sign the player as soon as possible because Sanches has apparently attracted interest from a lot of elite clubs across Europe and can be at the centre of a bidding war this summer, which would surely spruce up the prices. The player however has a release clause of around £60m but van Gaal is confident enough that he can land the 18-year-old for half the amount along with add-ons.

The deal will follow the footstep of another transfer saga which saw Anthony Martial move from Monaco to Manchester United last summer, when van Haal spent almost £58m along with add-ons. Renato primarily is an attacking midfielder but he can also play out wide, adding depth in several positions in the team.

The midfielder cemented his place in the Benfica first team only this year, making 11 appearances so far, scoring two goals. If United succeed in the deal it would certainly add to the rich base of young talent at Old Trafford, with Memphis Depay, Adnan Januzaj and Martial all battling to secure a berth in the LVG’s first eleven.

There is a possibility that Renato Sanches will be loaned back to Benfica for the rest of this season in order to sweeten the deal for the Portuguese side, who are right now not in a position in to sell their star player. The report also suggests that United scouts recently made a trip to Benfica, initially to watch Goncalo Guedes and full-back Eliseu but quickly turned their attention to Sanches, who has since become priority target for the Red Devils. 

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