Liverpool Transfer News: Renato Sanches Eyed Amid Manchester United Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2016

LISBON, PORTUGAL - FEBRUARY 12: Benfica's midfielder Renato Sanches during the match between SL Benfica and FC Porto for the portuguese Primeira Liga at Estadio da Luz on February 12, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a move for Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches but will face competition from Manchester United as well as numerous other top European clubs.

According to O Jogo (h/t Uche Amako in the Express), Liverpool had scouts watching Sanches, 18, in Benfica's 2-1 defeat to Porto on Friday, as did United and Arsenal.

It was reported that the midfielder has a release clause of £62 million in his contract with Benfica, but the Portuguese club would be prepared to let him go for around £47 million, per One World Sports (h/t Amako).

That is serious money for such a young player, but he has clearly drawn interest from big clubs and is already established as a key part of the Benfica side, per Portuguese football writer Jan Hagen:

Liverpool will have to be very confident that Sanches has the potential to be a Reds stalwart for years to come if they are to splash out nearly £50 million on him.

But it is unsurprising that they are being linked with the youngster, as he could fit well into manager Jurgen Klopp's setup at Anfield.

He is a versatile player—he can operate both in the centre of midfield and out wide—but Sanches' best position is playing through the middle and controlling a game.

The Portuguese is a true box-to-box midfielder and has made the move up to first-team football with remarkable ease.

See some of his best moments below: 

With the departure of Steven Gerrard last season, Liverpool have lost some of their previous drive and steel in midfield.

Sanches could help to bring that back, while he is also very intelligent on the ball and possesses a fierce shot.

Klopp is surely set to make some big changes to his squad in the summer as he looks to build his own team, and Sanches would be a very exciting addition.

However, his price tag may prove prohibitive, while the the interest from elsewhere could also be problematic for the Reds.