Renato Sanches’ confirmed move to Bayern Munich on Tuesday afternoon was a bolt out of the blue but Manchester United’s response has been entirely predictable, albeit extremely unnerving.
James Ducker from The Telegraph reports that senior officials at Man United have said the club’s interest in Sanches stopped back in February. Why you ask? At the request of Louis van Gaal is the verdict.
Ducker goes on to suggest van Gaal balked at Sanches’ €80m price tag and felt he wanted to pursue other midfielders in a line which, if true, is surely the biggest indication yet that United are preparing for next season with the Dutchman still in charge.
There’s a couple points I wanted to discuss with this. Firstly, United have continued to send scouts to Benfica games until May, so if they weren’t looking at Sanches then what were they doing? The 18-year-old has certainly been the player most heavily linked with a move to United this year so unless there was somebody else we were watching, using the Sanches rumours as a perfect disguise, then that’s odd.
Secondly, and I find this quite telling, is how swift United have been to save face with this Sanches move. It was predictable, expected and a completely different approach to the Jose Mourinho rumours which United have refused to comment on and remained silent about. Why the change in tact?
If it is indeed true that van Gaal vetoed a move for Sanches then that would be worrying for United fans because it would show he is having a hand in decisions for next season when the majority of us see his sacking as an inevitability this summer.