Manchester United reportedly failed to sign Renato Sanches in a deal worth £30 million on transfer deadline day, but the Premier League giants will return in the summer with a renewed offer. Also, Louis van Gaal's side will revive their interest in former Manchester City full-back Omar Elabdellaoui.
According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t Metro's Will Giles), United made a last-ditch bid for Sanches, 18, worth £30.4 million, plus another £15.2 million in add-ons, but Benfica wanted an up-front cash payment for their starlet.
It seems like an absurd sum considering the player only made his first-team debut for the Eagles in October of last year, but the Portugal under-19 midfielder has quickly gone about making an impression in Lisbon.
Manchester United have longed to sign another wonderkid of world-class quality since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in 2009, and it appears the club are looking back to Lisbon in their efforts to find the next big thing.
Ronaldo moved to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 for a much more modest fee of £12.24 million, but Sanches' eye-watering price tag means there's much more risk involved with his pursuit.
BT Sport's Fletch and Sav show discussed the potential signature of the midfield anchor, but pundit Steve McManaman couldn't wrap his head around the extortionate transfer sums involved:
According to Giles' report, Sanches has a £60.9 million release clause in his Benfica contract, but one has to question the logic behind paying such a hefty figure for a player without even a full season of professional football under his belt.
The midfielder has made 18 appearances for the Primeira Liga outfit this season and scored two goals, showing an impressive array of engine-room skill and a knack for driving forward from the middle of the park.
United are also reported to have failed in their attempt to bring former Manchester City academy player Elabdellaoui to the Theatre of Dreams in January, but the Red Devils will return for his services this summer.
The Mirror's Aaron Flanagan cited a report from Greek outlet Gazzetta that claimed Olympiakos right-back Elabdellaoui—who left the Etihad Stadium in 2013—was the subject of a late offer from the Red Devils.
Both Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia have endured unfortunate spells with injury so far this season, and after Rafael's departure for Lyon last summer, the club are seemingly short on the right side of defence.
Elabdellaoui has started in all 21 of his appearances for Olympiakos this season and is reportedly valued at £7 million, an affordable sum should the Red Devils indeed reignite their interest this summer.