Tottenham Hotspur are in the race to sign Renato Sanches…
According to Spanish outlet AS, Spurs will have to battle fierce rivals Arsenal for the 24-year-old’s signature this January, with LaLiga outfit Barcelona also mooted with interest. The two north London clubs are said to be ‘immersed’ in a bid to secure him.
It remains to be seen what sort of fee, if any, would tempt Lille into a sale, especially halfway through the season as they appear to be putting up a futile Ligue 1 title defence as they sit in 11th position, though Transfermarkt value the 32-cap Portugal international at £27m.
Lilywhites chairman Daniel Levy has a history in dealing with Gestifute, the agency run by renowned super-agent Jorge Mendes, having signed or appointed the likes of Matt Doherty, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo, and been linked to many more.
However, the arrival of Sanches would top the lot as the young midfielder has emerged as an elite breakthrough talent after questionable spells at Bayern Munich and Swansea City.
Last season, the box-to-box beast played an integral role towards their Ligue 1 triumph and that continued into the summer with Portugal at Euro 2020, when he featured in three group games and their Round of 16 defeat to Belgium.
An average of 4.6 total dribbles, 2.6 attempted tackles, 1.7 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1.1 interceptions per 90 minutes (via WhoScored) across the course of his short career to date suggests that Sanches is very much capable of influencing a game at either end of the pitch, and that kind of defensive intelligence and ability to drive the ball forward could have some similarities to that of Mousa Dembele during his time in N17.
Meanwhile, the official Euro 2020 website went onto laud him as one of Portugal’s biggest positives at the tournament, some five years on from picking up the Golden Boy trophy and earning some pretty lofty comparisons to Xabi Alonso.
Indeed, Bundesliga.com once likened him to Clarence Seedorf, who very much was cut from the same cloth – ‘A box-to-box midfielder with the strength of a WWE heavyweight and the nimble feet of a ballet dancer,’ they wrote.
Elsewhere, Les Dogues president Oliver Letang believes that the midfielder is a “complete athlete” due to his strength, stamina and speed, and his ability with the ball at his feet.
“Top-class roaming playmaker. The Real Renato is back!” claimed scout Jacek Kulig in the summer, too.
On the above evidence, sporting director Fabio Paratici could well discover a new Dembele for Spurs in Sanches, who would be a mighty fine and solid addition to Antonio Conte’s midfield.