Manchester United will face a tough battle if they are to sign Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches this summer, according to The Telegraph.
The 18-year-old has been one of the revelations of the season, cementing his place in the Benfica first-team after making his debut for the Eagles in October. His presence has driven Benfica to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the top of the Primeira Liga table, with the Portuguese side winning 16 out of 18 games with Sanches in the side.
And United have been extensively scouting the box-to-box midfielder this season, with scouts being spotted on a weekly basis at the Estadio da Luz in recent months.
However, it is believed that Benfica want to keep Sanches at the club for another season to drive up his value further, but are willing to let go of the midfielder for a fee in the region of £47 million, with most of that fee upfront.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also reportedly interested in signing Sanches, who made his international debut for Portugal against Bulgaria on Friday and played 45 minutes against Belgium tonight.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Louis van Gaal’s future with United, the club will press ahead in their attempts in signing Sanches and if they do, they believe that they will have three of Europe’s hottest talents at Old Trafford – joining Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw.
United’s hopes of signing Sanches will be boosted by the presence of Jorge Mendes, who is the 18-year-old’s agent. Mendes also represents Jose Mourinho, who is the favourite to take over if van Gaal does leave after the current season.