Manchester United need to bolster their central midfield this season. That is not a secret. Their loss on Wednesday against FC Barcelona further confirmed that statement.
The Red Devils lack another presence in the middle of the pitch. Ander Herrera is a world-class player, but who else fits that mold? Paul Pogba plays on a more attacking role, so he is out of the question. Marouane Fellaini is simply not good enough to play against top opposition. And Michael Carrick is past his prime, to the point he is beginning to look overmatched physically.
Due to this, Jose Mourinho has been scouting the market to see which players might be available. But they have not been very successful. Talks for Nemanja Matic stalled in recent weeks. Eric Dier is out of United’s price range, and Tottenham are reluctant to sell him anyway. And the same thing happens with Marco Verratti and PSG. It seems the options are limited, but there might be a way to upgrade the team on a short-term basis.
According to several reports, Bayern Munich are keen to loan Renato Sanches this season. The 19-year-old midfielder does not count for Carlo Ancelotti, and the plan is to move him elsewhere so he can get the minutes he won’t have at Allianz Arena. And even though AC Milan have been mentioned as the most likely destination, United have reportedly entered in the race to land him as well.
Renato Sanches might not fit the mold previously discussed. United desperately need a defensive-minded player, but Sanches plays on a more attacking role. However, one must analyse the situation with eyes wide open. How many times does the opportunity arises to sign one of the most promising youngsters in Europe? Even if it is on a one-year loan deal, there is no question Sanches would be a great addition to United.
As mentioned above, he is only 19 years old so he has time on his side to improve. And he would be an instant upgrade for the club, either as a CM or in a more attacking role. For instance, playing him as an attacking midfielder could move Pogba to his natural central role next to Herrera. But he could also play wide, perhaps spelling Jesse Lingard, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Juan Mata as an inside forward.
There is no confirmation whether Sanches is on his way to United or not. And truthfully, the chances are a bit slim. But if the opportunity arises, United should take it. He would be a solid addition to the side. And he would give the team a great deal of versatility in the middle of the pitch, something the team is desperately lacking.