Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge appears to have confirmed Chelsea's interest in signing Renato Sanches, although competition is fierce with multiple teams said to be vying for the 19-year-old midfielder.
Sanches only joined Bayern from Benfica in a €35m (£31.3m, $40.9m) deal last summer, but a subsequent lack of regular first-team action - he started just six Bundesliga matches under Carlo Ancelotti in 2016-17 - has led the reigning Bundesliga champions to ponder a potential loan move.
AC Milan were previously considered as front-runners to sign the Portuguese international, although CEO Marco Fassone recently claimed there were currently no negotiations due to an unwillingness on the Rossoneri's part to meet his €48m (£42.9m) valuation after initial talks.
Milan are said to be seeking a two-year loan deal that includes an option to buy in 2019, although Bayern only want to sanction a temporary season-long exit and are not willing to sell him on a permanent basis.
Sanches has rather caught the eye on Bayern's pre-season tour of the Far East, producing an accomplished display during a 3-2 victory over Chelsea in Singapore on Tuesday (25 July) that led to speculation that an impressed Antonio Conte lodged an enquiry following the full-time whistle.
Such reports have now been backed up by Rummenigge, who told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Conte asked for some information about him after Tuesday's match because he knows he can make the difference on the pitch. [Carlo] Ancelotti was pleased with his performance against Chelsea so we can make some reasoning on him later."
He further claimed there were "at least 10 teams" interested in Sanches, who has a long-term admirer in Jose Mourinho. The Manchester United manager previously admitted that he would have fought Bayern for his compatriot last summer had he been appointed as successor to Louis van Gaal sooner.
News of Sanches' renewed availability has inevitably seen those old United links resurface, with Mourinho stating a desire to add a new central midfielder to his squad before the 31 August transfer deadline. Well-documented pursuits of Chelsea's Nemanja Matic and Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur have thus far proven fruitless.
"I'm not satisfied. Of course I would like to play more," Sanches told Sport Bild earlier this week. "This is why I want to join a club where I could get more playing time. Milan is an interesting option. If the opportunity arises and the clubs can agree, I would like to see them. I am now on tour with Bayern but after that we will get together in Munich and hopefully find a solution.
"I'm young, I want and I have to play a lot. I think the chance to do so is greater in Milan than in Munich."