Manchester United were interested in signing Renato Sanches in the summer transfer window, according to the Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese international was one of the star players at Benfica last season and his form saw him attract interest from several top clubs across Europe. The Old Trafford club were keen on securing his signature as he was one of the upcoming prospects.
Sanches left Benfica and rejected a chance to join the Premier League giants in favour of Bayern Munich. He signed for the German champions for a fee of €35 million earlier in May. It is believed that the Red Devils’ former manager Louis van Gaal blocked the transfer.
Weeks after Sanches signed for the Bundesliga giants, United allowed Van Gaal to leave and replaced him with Mourinho. The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager admitted that he watched his compatriot in action closely and is disappointed that his current employers missed out on signing the new star, who bagged the best Young Player of the Year award at the Euro 2016.
“I arrived late. I signed in May, we started talking a week before, but completely out of the process. If I had arrived earlier, I’d fight for him,” Mourinho told Sport TV.
“Manchester United watched Renato many times and maybe I did it even more. In so much time at home, I watched many Benfica and Portuguese league games, I got to know the boy better with time.”
“He’s in a a big club, in a league where he’ll certainly be the champion. The club have players of very high level which belong to the structure, a little like Benfica.”