Renato Sanches is expected to leave Lille in the winter transfer window, with Les Dogues desperate for some financial injection. Barcelona had emerged as the likely destination for the midfielder, but their new manager Xavi has put an end to the Catalan club’s pursuit of the footballer.
It has paved the way for the Merseyside giants to emerge as the undisputed favourite in the race to add Portugal international. Sanches himself prefers a move to Liverpool, where he can be offered sporting stability and a better salary.
The Reds are already in advanced negotiations with the Ligue 1 champions surrounding the acquisition of Renato, who has been valued at nearly €30m. A product of the Benfica youth academy, the 24-year-old midfielder was one of the rising stars in Ligue 1 last campaign.
The Portuguese midfielder racked up 23 games for the French club, playing a crucial role in helping the team leapfrog PSG for the league title, in what turned out as one of the most miraculous moments in French football over the past few decades.
In light of his excellent 2020/21 season, the former Bayern Munich midfielder was destined for a move elsewhere in the summer.
Sanches was even courted by ex-Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, but an untimely injury in mid-August ruled out the possibility of a departure. The Blaugrana have since opted not to retain an interest in Renato, with Xavi Hernandez unsure of the player’s talents.