Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand would have dragged Renato Sanches to Old Trafford "by his hair" if he was a scout for the club. The 19-year-old midfielder was strongly linked with a big-money move to United before signing for German giants Bayern Munich earlier this year.
Sanches starred for Portugal at Euro 2016 and Ferdinand has bemoaned United's inability to close a deal for the teenage talent, who is highly rated by Reds boss Jose Mourinho.
"If I was a Man United scout, Renato Sanches would already be at the club," Ferdinand told A Bola of the midfielder, who joined Bayern in a deal that is potentially worth €80m (£70.2m, $87.2m). "I'd have dragged him by his hair and said, 'let's go!'"
Ferdinand was impressed by Sanches' performances at the Euros and he has hailed the youngster's maturity, too. "Renato is a modern player: Aggressive, strong, powerful, got technique, can shoot and pass. I like him," the United legend said. "He's young, but takes responsibility."
Sanches previously admitted he spurned the chance to join United because Bayern put in a "lot of effort" to seal his signature. Sanches said that Bayern's plans for his long-term development convinced him to move to the Bavarian club rather than United.
"I had a good feeling about it right away when I heard about Bayern Munich's interest," the Portugal international said of his switch from Benfica, as quoted by The Sun. "They really put in a lot of effort and I immediately got a feeling the people in charge believed in me as a player. That was the decisive factor behind my decision to join Bayern."