Benfica bag €35m possibly rising to €80m

Bayern Munich today announced the signing of Benfica’s 18-year-old midfielder Renato Sanches on a long-term contract until the summer of 2021.

The German giants paid €35 million euros up front from the teenager, with a potential further €45 million due depending on sporting objectives achieved by the player.

It caps a remarkable season for Sanches, who only made his Benfica debut in October this season.

The transfer took everyone by surprise. It was not so much the fact that the young midfielder was sold before completing a full season in Portugal and before securing a berth in the national team squad - he is still far from certain of making the 23-man party to go to Euro 2016 with the Seleção.

But all the pointers suggested his destination would be Premier League club Manchester United, with the English giants having scouted him regularly throughout the season and heavily reported to have a deal in place.

But they were not the only ones. “FC Bayern has been watching Renato Sanches for a long period,” said Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “We’re pleased we’ve been able to sign him despite big-name international competition.”

It remains to be seen whether Sanches can force his way into Bayern’s star-studded team. The size of the transfer fee suggests the four-time German champions have no doubts he has the quality to represent a team that has been widely viewed as one of the top three club sides in Europe over recent seasons.

“Renato is dynamic, a good tackler and a technically skilled midfielder who’ll add even more strength to our team,” added Rummenigge.

One season playing for Benfica may be enough to earn Renato a Primeira Liga title. The Lisbon club play Nacional on Sunday afternoon needing to match Sporting’s result at Braga to be crowned champions of Portugal. Sanches, though, will not play having been sent off against Marítimo on Sunday.

His final game for Benfica will therefore be the Taça da Liga final, also against Marítimo, on 20 May.

by Tom Kundert

Related: Renato Sanches raising eyebrows abroad your social media marketing partner

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  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars

    its a big step; a big decision, he can learn a lot more there than at SLB but the question is ”will he break into the first 11?”

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  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    It’s not fair to compare Renato to Bruma. Renato has a great attitude and from all reports is a good kid. Bruma whined and cried like a child to try and force his way out of his contract because he played a run of good games at the under 20’s. He has had nothing but injuries and setbacks since. Karma? Possibly.

    Renato Sanches arrival at Benfica coincides with their turn in fortunes. How much of that was because of him, is for us to debate but it has to count for something. He is dynamic and fun to watch, there is no argument there but now he goes to, BAYERN MUNICH? He is 19 years old. Not even Ronaldo jumped like this, he was picked up by Man U because the players (Giggs) told Sir Alex to sign that kid after the famous Man U v Sporting match. Figo left Sporting at 23 for Barca just to put this into perspective.

    Too early? Oh yes, I would say so. Is Bayern a developing club or a buying club? Does sitting on the bench help you develop? No. Why the rush?

    Come on though, blaming this on the player when Benfica saw $$$$ as well? Not fair. If Benfica really wanted to keep him they would of said no, but they didn’t. I don’t know what is going on next year with Bayern as Pepsi Guardiola is leaving another billionaire club to jump to another “impossible task” of managing a billionaire club (sigh)…who knows what Bayern will look like next year.

    Players should really use their heads instead of chasing the money. Renato could go wherever he wants and play every game, yet he chose the top 3 biggest club on the planet with a deep lineup of stars and superstars and zero room for error. Raphael Guerreiro did it right by staying put and choosing regular 1st team ball playing over $$$$.

    Anyhow, wish him all the best (and Diogo Jota as well going to Atletico). I loved watching him play, he actually made me tune into Benfica games so that counts for something. Truly of all the recent guys leaving, I really hope Renato makes it, he is just way to much fun to fail.

    from Burlington, ON, Canada
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  • Don't you dare speak ill of Pepe "the hype" Guardiola! He is the greatest manager of all time!!! All time!!!! The Beyonce of managers!!!!!

    I think between Renato and Jota, Jota will have a harder time adapting, but has more room for potential because Atletico plays in a much more difficult and dynamic league. If he can cut it at Atletico (La Liga challengers, potential CL champions), than he can cut it anywhere.

    Renato may actually stagnate if he gets to help Bayern drub the Augsbergs and Hoffenheims of the world every week.

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  • As a Benfica fan, this is bittersweet. For a club like this, the money is a lifeline no doubt. But to see an 18-year-old lured away in his first full season of first-team action means a huge loss for the Portuguese league. It's the way of the modern football world now.

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  • Best one sentence breakdown of what is wrong with football I have ever seen. Well said.

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  • Guest - Jalil Ahmed

    Renato to Bayern is very very surprising transfer I have ever seen in Portugal football history but i will wish him good luck.. Renato is 2nd best talented player since Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal has ever produced.. He could be world best midfielder in future after working under Don Carlo Ancelotti which is praised by Portuguese Legend Cristiano Ronaldo as World best Manager he has ever worked with..

    People who are saying that Renato will warm bench in Bayern has a clear reply that Renato agent is JORGE MENDES same as Cristiano Ronaldo and do you people remember when Ronaldo moved from Sporting to Manchester United it was agreement of Mendes with Manchester United in Ronaldo's contract that he will play 30 to 35% minutes of each match and United can't bench him every match or so... And now Renato case is same as Ronaldo because at age of 18 both super stars moved to world biggest and best club at their time respectively and I am damn sure that Mendes has agreement with Bayern officials about Sanches playing time and it will be part of his contract that he will play some minutes in every match.. While Renato is best talent and he can fit in Bayern starting XI and he has potential to play all 90 minutes there and hope he will not become flop or bench warmer...

    People who are comparing Bruma with Renato must admit that Renato is biggest talent than Bruma because he is constantly performing wonderfully for benfica both in Portuguese Liga and Champions League also where as Bruma had just few good games for Sporting Lisbon then...

    Personally I don't think so that Renato Sanches will be holder of 23 men squad for Euro 2016 because of his inexperience on senior level as we have coach named as Fernando Santos and he prefers Experience over Talent so he will surely prefer Tiago over Renato Sanches and Renato will not make into 23 men squad for Euros..

    Final 23 men squad fro Euros will surely be same as follows:

    Rui Patricio
    Anthony Lopes

    Cedric Soares
    Ricardo Carvalho
    Bruno Alves
    Jose Fonte
    Raphael Guirreiro
    William Carvalho
    Joao Mario
    Andre Gomes
    Joao Moutinho
    Bernardo Silva
    Rafa Silva
    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Mark my words these 23 men will go to Euros Actually I don't satisfy with all these 23 but I have posted this because I know the selection of Fernando Santos he will select these 23 men for Euros.. The changes I want in above 23 men are:

    Bruno Alves out Daniel Carrico in
    Eder out Diogo Jota in
    I want both Tiago and Renato Sanches in squad Tiago because of his huge Experience and Renato because of his immense talent and brilliant form that he is showing for benfica this season but I know only one among those will be selected for final 23 men squad and 90% chances are that Tiago will be selected rather than Renato Sanches....

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  • Guest - Mario

    Renato Sanche's style of play reminds me of Edgar "pit bull" Davids. He is an aggressive player; a no nonsense player who protects the ball well, tackles hard and moves the ball quickly to the players up front. He is a promising player but to suggest at this moment in time that he is the most talented player Portugal has produced since Ronaldo I think is going overboard. Personally, I believe the most talented player playing in Portugal right now is Joao Mario.

    One thing is practically assured, he will have a Bundesliga title at the end of next season since Bayern has raided its main rival Dortmund once again; they signed Hummels. Who says you can't buy championships? I wish Renato the best of luck in his career, hopefully he will get more playing time than Goetze has these past years.

    from Canada
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  • Guest - Andre/UK

    Yeah I also have some mixed feelings about this sale of Renato, but overall it's a great deal for the club. Of course it's disappointing to see all these talented youngsters from Seixal get sold off every year and Renato joins a long list of excellent young players who have left in the last few years. Nevertheless, we are still very much a club in debt, and the huge fee offered for a player with less than a full season of experience, was simply too good to turn down. Hopefully this means we don't have to sell anybody else this summer and that would be a real positive.

    I must also point out that in the last couple of months his form dropped considerably and this fact makes it clear that he is very far from being irreplaceable in the team. In fact I would say that in the last few months Lindelof has been a far more important player to the team than Renato. But in any case, the real strength of Rui Vitoria's Benfica has been the collective, rather than individual players.

    Still though his meteoric rise in such a short time has been nothing short of sensational. I have never seen such a young player make such a big impact in such a short period. Not even CR7 or Messi! Last season he was playing in the junior team, he started this season in the B team, and within 6 months he has played in the Champions league quarter finals, is a full Portugal international and has just joined arguably the best team in Europe right now. We will get at least 60 million for a player who has only played senior football for 6 months! 10 million for every month he's played for us, incredible! Bring him to the Euros in my opinion, without a shadow of a doubt. He would offer something to the midfield that quite simply nobody else can.

    Good luck to him at Bayern and for the rest of his career!!!

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  • Guest - Dustin

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    For everyone thinking that he will rot on the bench, this will simply not be the case. You don't pay this much for a player regardless of age unless you plan on him being in your first team. I think there is a very good chance he either takes Thiago's place in the midfield to start the season or eventually within several weeks takes Thiago's or Vidal's place in the midfield.

    Should he go to the Euro' be honest I am torn. Danilo, William, Moutinho, Gomes, Mario are in for sure. That leaves Sanches, Tiago and Adrien fighting for the final spot. Tiago hasn't played for so long so logically you would think he would be the odd man out, but Santo's loves him so I wouldn't be surprised if he is the final midfield piece in his squad. I think Sanches offers more than both right now considering Tiago's injury and layoff but he wouldn't be a starter so it might be wise to have him dominate the midfield along with Neves at the Olympics. Unless he gets in a game and plays lights out in the group stage and forces his way in ala Ronaldo at Euro 2004.

    Mario to Manchester United it looks like. What an amazing time for young Portuguese talent, I am only 30 years old so Euro 2000 was when I really started following the team and then hardcore following since euro 2004. I have never seen anything like this. Remember 2006 to 2010, it seemed like the only two good prospects those years were Moutinho and Veloso. Then 2010 to 2013 there wasn't much. These last 2 to 3 years has seen an explosion in talent. Our midfield was a weakspot from the start of world cup qualifying in 2012 to 2014. Now all of a sudden its a stacked midfield with players 23 or under and in different styles and positions. Gomes and Mario more offensive minded mids, William and Neves def mids, Renato Sanches a true box to box. Absolutely incredible depth and all of a sudden a fight for spots. Two of our starting mids since around 2010 to 2014 were veloso and Raul. We went from a weakness to a huge strength and this midfield will be the heart of the national team for the next decade.

    from Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Guest - Mario

    Mario Goetze signed for 37 million euros and under Guardiola he was never a regular starter, often benched for the important games, so this idea that because they pay a lot of money for a player he automatically will be a first team member isn't necessarily true.

    Tiago has been a disappointment, his high level of play that he demonstrated when healthy playing for Atletico Madrid never transpired with the selecao. In my opinion he has been awful at times. So, it surprises me to read comments about Tiago being invited to the selecao. Why would you invite a player who has been out for most of the season with a broken leg, a player who has been mediocre since his return to the selecao, especially when you take into account the amount of talent we have in the midfield?

    Moutinho has had a lackluster season and, if I'm not mistaken, is still recovering from an ankle injury. It's difficult to leave out Moutinho since he has been one of the best Portuguese players for the national team over the years, but if he isn't in game shape is it wise to bring him? I would say yes as a player that comes on as a substitute, but then again we have alternatives.

    from Canada
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