Manchester United are favourites to sign Benfica wonder kid Renato Sanches in the summer after months of impasse regarding the transfer fee came to an end with the Red Devils agreeing to match the Portuguese club's valuation of the midfielder. The young starlet burst onto the scene in the Portuguese league this season and has put in some impressive performances, which has attracted attention from top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid and Juventus.
According to Portuguese publication A Bola, the Red Devils have won the race for the versatile midfielder's signature and are ready to pay Benfica €50m (£40m, $57m) for his services. The 20-times English champions have been tracking the 18-year-old during the course of the campaign and even had scouts monitoring his progress in their latest game against SC Braga on 1 April.
The Old Trafford club have struggled in midfield this season with Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin the only options in the holding role due to Bastian Schweisteiger's lengthy injury absences, and Sanches could add some much needed oomph going into next season. Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera have played their part but have been unable to impact proceedings from a deeper role, with the former being mainly used as a forward while chasing games.
A separate A Bola report understands that scouts from clubs all across Europe were present for the game against Braga, including Premier League rivals Arsenal, who are also looking to shore up their midfield due to the imminent departures of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky. United, however, look to have beaten off their competitors after agreeing to pay the fee demanded by the club.
Sanches's impressive performances have seen him being called up to the Portugal senior squad for their recent international friendlies against Bulgaria and Belgium. He made his debut against the latter and the manager could opt to give him an opportunity to shine alongside Cristiano Ronaldo during their Euro 2016 campaign in France later this year.