The headline grabbing deal is the one for Sanches, as he was rumored to be joining Manchester United. That he is heading to Munich and not Old Trafford makes you wonder if Sanches’ transfer means that Jose Mourinho’s proposed move to Old Trafford is off as both the former Chelsea boss and the Bayern Munich new boy are clients of Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes? Or is this another case of Ed Woodward being out of his depth, unable to pull the trigger on a deal that was placed in his lap, and Bayern snatching him away at the last moment?
At the moment I think it is the latter, but Woodward’s inability to close transfer deals continues to hurt United. He is a brilliant business man, but he is out of his depth when it comes to signing players.
Portuguese wonderkid Sanches, who is Portugal’s hottest prospect since former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, becomes the first signing under Carlo Ancelotti, who will take over from Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.
Sanches has signed a five-year deal with the German champions in a deal worth an initial fee of £28m. That fee could rise to as much as £63m if Sanches wins the Ballon d’Or and is named in FIFA’s World XI during his time in Germany.
A statement on Benfica’s official website read:
‘Benfica can announce it has reached an agreement with Bayern Munich for the permanent sports athlete rights of Renato Sanches for the amount of €35million.
‘Please note that the agreement is planned in addition amounts, a total amount of €45m, dependent on the achievement of goals and he is contracted until June 30, 2021.’
Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of the transfer:
‘Renato Sanches has been observed by Bayern Munich for a long period.
‘We are delighted to have signed him despite renowned international competition. Renato is a dynamic, two combative and technically gifted midfielder who will strengthen our team further.’
Lost in the news about the Sanches deal is the one for the Bundesliga best defender this season. If Bayern have a weakness it is in central defence and buy signing Mats Hummels, not only do they fix their defensive weakness but simultaneously weaken their biggest domestic rivals.