Portuguese outlet A Bola (h/t Sport Witness' Lucas Sposito) claim Bayern have entered the race to capture the midfielder, as United and Los Blancos continue to scout the player. The 18-year-old has also been linked to Arsenal and Barcelona, after the Gunners sent staff to watch the Eagles in the Portuguese league.
The press in Portugal have continually linked Sanches to the Red Devils, with newspaper Record (h/t Sport Witness) reporting United have offered £45 million to sign the player next summer.
Record added the Old Trafford club want to break the total down into a smaller initial fee, with add-ons included, but Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira has told United "he wants more in a guaranteed amount, and would be willing to accept less in bonuses."
The player is versatile in nature, and can operate in the attack, but he currently occupies a central role for his team. United added Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger to their central midfield last summer, but Sanches would offer a more explosive option.
Here is a video showing the player's dynamic skill set:
Much like Anthony Martial at Monaco, the Portugal under-19 international will come at a big price, but as the French forward has proved, a huge fee will be inconsequential if the individual is a success.
Benfica manager Rui Vitoria gave an honest appraisal in light of United's reported interest in Sanches, per Nuno Pombo of Record (h/t ESPN FC): "If things happen, they happen—everybody here knows how it is."
Sanches has made 14 appearances for Benfica in the Portuguese league this term, according to WhoScored.com, and Metro's Jan Hagen recently highlighted his impressive performance during a 5-0 win over Belenenses:
Renato Sanches has assisted the assist on every of Benfica's 3 goals. He & Pizzi have been outstanding tonight.— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) February 5, 2016
United could certainly be in the market for a midfielder soon, after rumours suggested Michael Carrick might depart the club.
Matt Hughes of the Times reported the 34-year-old is yet to receive a new offer at Old Trafford, and his contract expires at the end of the season.
Former United treble-winning legend Andy Cole is an admirer of Carrick's game:
If Carrick is fit... He needs to play! Top top player— Andrew Cole (@vancole9) February 2, 2016
Sanches only made his debut in October and it is difficult to ascertain whether he truly is the real deal at such an early stage of his career. His skill set is similar to Willian's at Chelsea, and his engine suggests he is a good fit for the Premier League.
Should United let Carrick leave in the summer?
He is a different type of player to Carrick, but with Schneiderlin expected to be United's first-choice defensive midfielder next season, there will be room for a more progressive addition in the centre of the park.
Sanches has the ability to be a box-to-box player for the Red Devils and become the perfect foil between defence and attack on a regular basis.