Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches is considering leaving the club because he's not happy with the game time he's getting.
The 21-year-old has made just 21 appearances this season, averaging only 34 minutes on the pitch per outing.
He told German outlet Kicker (h/t Goal): "I'm not happy here, I work a lot, but I'm not allowed to play. I want to play more, maybe at a different club, I have to worry about that."
Amid interest in him from Paris Saint-Germain in January, Bayern boss Niko Kovac said he was happy with Sanches, per Goal's Ronan Murphy and Scouted Football:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Niko Kovač on Renato Sanches: "I'm really pleased with Renato and convinced he'll play a lot of games in the rest of this season. "We could have nine games in 30 days in April, which is a hell of a lot, and we’ll need every player." Staying put, for the time being. https://t.co/9626ebRhtK
He has made just five substitute appearances since then, though, totalling 50 minutes of playing time.
It was something of a surprise to see him brought on with Bayern trailing against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League:
The youngster was unable to make an impact, though, and Bayern ultimately lost 3-1.
He was also given a two-minute run-out in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Anfield, but football journalist Sam Cunningham suggested at the time the Reds would not be intimidated by his introduction:
Bayern signed him as an 18-year-old back in 2016, splashing out an initial €35 million to prise him away from Benfica, with add-ons that could potentially see his cost total €80 million.
Sanches won the Golden Boy award that year and was also named Young Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2016 after helping Portugal lift the trophy in France.
He made just nine starts in his debut campaign with Bayern, though, and was loaned out to Swansea City last season, but form and fitness issues limited him to just 15 appearances as the Swans were relegated from the Premier League.
When Sanches burst onto the scene with Benfica, he seemed to have it all—technique, physicality, dynamism and tenacity.
His lack of game time in recent years has stalled his development, though, and his situation at Bayern does not seem promising.
A fresh start elsewhere—at a club more stable than Swansea, who made their fourth managerial change in 15 months while Sanches was there—could help him get his career back on track.