Renato Sanches explains why he turned down Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Bayern Munich and Portugal starlet Renato Sanches has explained why he turned down a move to Manchester United last year, noting that he wanted to play with world class players at the Allianz Arena instead.

Man United were on the cusp of securing the teenager’s signature last May but stalled as Louis van Gaal‘s time at Old Trafford came to an end, paving the way for Bayern to complete the deal. 

Jose Mourinho, who previously insisted he would have signed the youngster had he been appointed earlier, recently questioned Sanches’ decision to play under Carlo Ancelotti.

Sanches, speaking earlier this week, responded to Mourinho’s remarks by backing up his decision to move to Germany.

“[Bayern] really put in a lot of effort and I immediately got a feeling the people in charge believed in me as a player. That was the decisive factor behind my decision to join,” he said.

“Ancelotti always looks calm and in charge. You can just see he has a lot of experience. He is getting involved with his players a lot and is helping players to make individual progress.

“But I am also playing alongside a lot of world- players here. I can learn from all of them, especially from the players who play in midfield like Arturo Vidal, Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcantara.”

Nobody will question the notion that Sanches is a superb talent: a European Champion and already too big for the Primera Liga at the age of 19. But talent counts for little if it isn’t honed, thrown into the deep end and scrutinised on a regular basis. That is, after all, how players develop.

With that in mind one can question Sanches’ decision to pick Bayern over United. He has made just seven starts for Ancelotti’s men since August, consigned primarily to the occasional cameo off the bench. A greater wealth of opportunities would have come his way had he decided to join Mourinho at Old Trafford.

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