After the transfer saga surrounding Renato Sanches and Manchester United, with scouts watching the Portuguese midfielder for months at SL Benfica, the teenager moved to Bayern Munich and former-Red Nani insists United will regret missing out on Sanches. The 18-year-old scored his first goal for his country in their quarter-final against Poland, playing a one-two before a good strike was deflected past Lukasz Fabianski. United fans, at that point, realised the talent they had missed out on and the composure he showed to strike an excellent penalty in the shootout, later on, was impressive too.
Nani, who left United in 2015 for Fenerbahce, was effusive in his praise of Renato Sanches. The winger said that his young teammate “would have been a great signing for Manchester United” and he has “no doubts” about that. Despite great interest in the midfielder, United missed out as Bayern suddenly came in and, like Nani, had no doubts so instantly made their move while United dithered.
“He had a choice, and the choice he made was Bayern Munich,” rather than Manchester United, said Nani.
“I hope he has made a good choice and that he is happy in his career, but I think United will now know what a big player they have missed.”
As he showed during the penalty shootout, which saw Portugal progress to face Wales in the semi-final in Lyon next week, “Renato is a very confident player” and despite being “very young” he has “a great personality for the game” already and he “isn’t scared to play in the big games and he isn’t scared to show his qualities against any opponent.”
Many in Portugal have described Renato as the biggest talent to come out of their country since ex-United man Cristiano Ronaldo signed from Sporting Lisbon more than a decade ago.
“It is good to see another young player want to be a star and to achieve his dreams. You must be like that. You can’t be afraid of anything, and he isn’t.”
Renato has had less than one full season at first-team level for Benfica and so United’s hesitancy could be expected but if, as Ryan Giggs explained on ITV as a pundit, the club regarded him as one of the biggest talents in Europe, surely they should have had no hesitancy and, like with Anthony Martial, go full-out to sign him.
His performances for Portugal have been extremely impressive and he adds a drive to their side, particularly as a substitute as he has been throughout the tournament in France, which is vital as the counter-attacking side they are. Whether he will succeed at Bayern is yet to be seen but on current evidence, as Nani says, United could regret not trying harder to bring Renato Sanches to the club. As for Nani, he has returned to good form in Turkey with Fenerbahce and is set to move to Valencia in La Liga for the 2016/17 season.