Manchester United have been struck a hefty blow in the transfer market after Bayern Munich confirmed the arrival of long-term target Renato Sanches from Benfica. The reigning Bundesliga champions, who will be managed by Carlo Ancelotti from next season when the experienced Italian succeeds Pep Guardiola, have acted swiftly and efficiently to secure the services of one of European football's brightest young midfielders for €35m (£27.8m, $39.8m), plus bonuses.
In a statement released via their official website, Bayern confirmed that the 18-year-old completed a medical on Monday (9 May) and has signed a five-year deal that will keep him at the Allianz Arena until 2021. Not merely content with one high-profile addition, the Bavarians have also announced the imminent return of centre-back Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund for an undisclosed fee.
"FC Bayern has been watching Renato Sanches for a long period," Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "We're pleased we've been able to sign him, despite big-name international competition. Renato is dynamic, a good tackler and a technically-skilled midfielder who'll add even more strength to our team."
Confirming the specific financial details of that deal, deputy Jan-Christian Dreesen added: "The transfer fee for the current international, who was voted the Shooting Star Of Portuguese Football in his home country yesterday evening, is €35 million, plus possible bonus payments that could become due if, for example, the player is named in the World Team Of The Year or Fifa World Player Of The Year."
While the return of Hummels was widely anticipated after Dortmund publicly confirmed his intention to leave Signal Iduna Park and rejoin Bayern in April, news of Sanches' completed switch caught many off-guard. The player, who made 24 league appearances for Benfica this term and has also earned two senior caps for his native Portugal in friendlies against Bulgaria and Belgium, was previously subject to almost daily speculation linking him with Manchester United. Last week, Portuguese newspaper A Bola suggested that the Premier League giants would have to part with a total of £45m to take him to Old Trafford.
In addition to their usual scouting trips, Bayern got a comprehensive look at Sanches' talents in April when he played the full 90 minutes of both Champions League quarter-final meetings with Benfica. Although not scheduled to move to Germany until the official opening of the summer transfer window and after his likely involvement at Euro 2016, he has already played his final league match for Rui Vitoria's side after being sent off for two bookable offences during the recent 2-0 win at Maritimo. He will now be suspended for the final game of the season at home to Nacional on Saturday (14 May), which should see the Primeira Liga leaders retain their title ahead of former manager Jorge Jesus and rivals Sporting CP.