In a move which might bring a smile to Arsene Wenger’s face, Chelsea launched a late bid to take Bayern Munich midfield Renato Sanches, 19, on loan for two years. If the Premier League champions secure the Portuguese’s services, it reduces the prospect of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, crossing London this summer.
The Blues are picking up their pace in the transfer window with Antonio Conte contacting compatriot and Bayern Munich coach, Carlo Ancelotti, as soon as Sanches’ situation became known.
A year on from his €35m transfer from Benfica, the young Portuguese international has made slow progress in establishing himself as a pivotal member of the Bayern side. Flashes of brilliance have been marred inconsistency. With the fee potentially rising to €75m, expectations were higher.
Ancelotti’s former club, AC Milan, also contacted Bayern regarding Sanches’ availability but Conte made a personal intervention after Chelsea faced the Bundesliga champions in a pre-season friendly, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Manchester United expressed an interest in bringing Sanches to Old Trafford earlier in the summer but are torn between the Portuguese and the prospect of luring Gareth Bale, 28, away from the Bernabeu as a ripple from 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe’s move to Real Madrid.
It’s left Chelsea in a prime position to take Sanches from Bavaria, offering the prospect of Champions League football, something Milan may not be able to do for several seasons yet.