Renato Sanches was linked with a move to English giants Manchester United, before the Bundesliga champions swooped in and signed him. The Portuguese starlet was signed from Benfica for an initial fee of €35m, potentially rising to €45m based on performance bonuses.
Sanches had a great Euro 2016 with eventual champions Portugal, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of being the youngest player to play for the Portuguese national team, as well as the record of being the youngest player to play in the finals of an Euro.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he was pleasantly surprised by Sanches’ performance, and claimed that Bayern may not have been able to afford him after the Euros.
Rummenigge told ESPN reporter Soester Anzeiger: “Was I surprised by Renato Sanches’ performances at Euro 2016? Yes and no.
“It’s extraordinary when someone plays at the Euros like he did at the tender age of 18. I was nowhere near that level at the age of 18. But then again, he does seem to have extraordinary talents.”
“We are happy that we made the decision to sign him quite early, after the Champions League quarterfinal tie against Benfica. And we are very happy that we had the courage to spend big on him in April because €35m is a lot of money.
“Bayern would not have been able to afford him had we tried to sign him after the Euros. We would be talking about crazy money now. And he would definitely not be playing in the Bundesliga next term then.”
Renato Sanches became a regular in the Benfica side earlier this year, and went on to establish himself as one of the most talented youngsters in Europe.