Saturday 17 February 2018

'Bonkers' - Steve McManaman on Man United's £30m pursuit of Benfica prodigy

Benfica's midfielder Renato Sanches
Benfica's midfielder Renato Sanches

Manchester United are apparently lining up a new addition to their midfield options - and an expensive one, at that.

The club are preparing a £30m bid for Benfica's Renato Sanches, despite the player being just 18 years old.

United have form for spending big on teenagers, of course, having signed Anthony Martial last summer for an even higher fee, but this would be an even bigger surprise. Sanches only made his full debut for Benfica in 2015, and has just 11 starts to his name, but is highly rated throughout Europe.

Speaking on BT Sport today, former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman has his doubts over Sanches’ valuation, which could reportedly go up to £60m with add-ons.

“That’s a ridiculous story, surely,” McManaman told BT Sport. "£60m for a teenager is bonkers.”

According to the Daily Star, Louis Van Gaal has decided that Ryan Bertrand is the man he wants to solve the club's left-back crisis, with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and basically everyone else at the club currently injured.

The Southampton defender has excelled since his move to St Mary's and United's interest has increased dramatically now Ashley Young has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious groin injury.

Bertrand joined Southampton on a permanent contract for £10m last summer and would command a fee upwards of £20m - whether United would deem that prudent business is another matter entirely.

Considering the options they already have in this position with a fit squad, especially Bertrand's England left-back positional rival Luke Shaw, who was signed for £32m from the same club, a move in this window seems unlikely with the massive amounts of money it would cost to pry him from Ronald Koeman's fingers.

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