Liverpool are not currently close to signing Renato Sanches but the player has long been ‘appreciated’ by the club, transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has told Anfield Watch.
Sanches made 23 Ligue 1 appearances, including 14 starts, for Lille last season as they beat Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title. The former Bayern Munich midfielder averaged 1.7 dribbles, 3.5 successful long balls and 0.8 key passes per game (via WhoScored).
It was reported in regional newspaper La Voix du Nord this week that Liverpool are ‘very interested’ in the 23-year-old. Encouragingly, one ‘experienced agent’ says that any ‘decent talent’ outside of PSG ‘has a value right now’ amid a financial crisis in French football (via The Athletic).
Liverpool may therefore be able to strike a cut-price deal for a player who could replace Paris-bound Georginio Wijnaldum.
Romano says that recruiting a midfielder is not Liverpool’s current priority, and as such a deal for Sanches isn’t thought to be imminent. Instead, he urged any Reds fans keen on Sanches to be patient.
“From what I know, it is not a done deal,” he told Anfield Watch, adding: “It is not yet at an advanced stage because, what I have been told, the strategy for Liverpool is not going immediately for a midfielder.
“He has always been appreciated but at the moment, it is not advanced yet. So we need to wait a bit on this deal.”
Sanches is a gifted player, and his ability to glide through challenges as he drives forward makes him particularly easy on the eye.
However, this isn’t a deal Liverpool should pursue. Wijnaldum was hardly ever injured, but Sanches’ fitness record makes for worrying reading, so he doesn’t fit the bill as a replacement for the Dutchman.
After a succession of injuries decimated their Premier League title defence, the Reds ought to proceed with caution with regards to the Lille maestro.
In other news, there’s one surprise omission from Liverpool’s pre-season squad.
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