Barcelona are considering a move for Renato Sanches if their attempt to sign Saul Niguez proves unsuccessful.
2016 Golden Boy winner Sanches has revived his career since signing for Lille in 2019 and helped Les Dogues to a shock Ligue 1 title last season. He played a total of 29 games and recorded four assists. Christophe Galtier’s side has already started to fall apart, however with Boubakary Soumare, Mike Maignan as well as Galtier himself leaving the club.
Sanches was presented to Portugal at Euro 2020 / Isosport / MB Media / Getty Images
According to AS, Sanches can also leave the French side this summer. Barcelona see the midfield as a possible contingency plan if they can not hammer a deal for Saul.
It was generally expected that the Atletico midfielder would join Blaugrana this summer, in a deal that would see the high-winning Antoine Griezmann move in the opposite direction. However, these negotiations have stalled for a few days, which has led Barcelona to consider alternative recruits.
Manager Ronald Koeman is keen to get a dynamic midfielder for the coming season, after missing Georginio Wijnaldum, with the permission of an eleventh-hour bid from Paris Saint-Germain.
The only problem is that Barcelona is currently in great financial difficulties. Their salary budget does not currently follow the La Liga rules, which prevents them from registering any of their new signings. Because of this, Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia are not technically troupe members yet. This is one of the reasons why they are persecuting Saul, as it is an absolute priority to get Griezmann out of the wage bill.
If an agreement cannot be reached with Atletico, Sanches may initially come to a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season. Jorge Mendes – the super agent who represents the player – will be crucial in these complex negotiations.