Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinze Rummenigge has opened up about Manchester United’s failure to sign 18-year-old whizz kid Renato Sanches.
The 60-year-old admitted that the Portuguese teenager might well have ended up at the Theatre of Dreams, as the Red Devils were known to have a firm interest in signing him.
However, United dilly-dallied over the transfer due to a failure to sort out the appointment of their next manager. United had sacked van Gaal at the end of last season after a woeful two years under the Dutchman and a failure to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three years since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, despite him winning the FA Cup in his last game as manager.
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In the end, Jose Mourinho took over the reins at Old Trafford, but by the time he was handed the job, Bayern had already swooped in for Sanches, and the midfielder was on his way to the Allianz Arena from Benfica for an initial fee of £28 million, which could rise to £63 million after add-ons.
“We knew very well that Renato had a firm offer from Manchester United,” Rummenigge told German newspaper Bild.
“I heard that the United deal couldn’t be completed, as they didn’t know who their next manager would be.
“We invited Benfica’s president and Sanches’ agent to Madrid and that night we shook hands on the transfer.”
Mourinho himself admitted that he was interested in bringing the youngster to Old Trafford, and might have done so too had he not arrived at the club late. The 53-year-old admitted that he had watched his compatriot play on several occasions for Benfica, and would have fought to bring him to the north-west.
“I arrived late. I signed in May. If I had arrived earlier, I’d have fought for him,” Mourinho explained, according to ESPN.
“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.”