Manchester United are closing in on completing a deal to sign Benfica's teenage star Renato Sanches after the latest talks with the Portuguese club progressed well. The Red Devils have managed to beat the competition of top European clubs as they look to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford.
According to the Guardian, United will pay £46m (€60m) to Benfica and the fee will be paid over four years. The deal will be structured similar to that with AS Monaco, which saw the 20-time English champions sign Anthony Martial last summer.
United's league rivals Arsenal and Manchester City, along with European giants like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain were interested in securing the 18-year-old's services. However, it is the Red Devils, who are in pole position and are now leading the race in signing him.
Sanches came up through the ranks of Benfica's youth system and broke into their first team last October. Since then, he has been a regular inclusion in their starting lineup in all competitions and his form has attracted interest from several clubs across Europe. He even made his Portugal debut in March.
The Benfica midfielder is managed by super-agent Jorge Mendes and United's working relationship with the player's representative has helped them beat other clubs in landing him. The Red Devils' scout watched him closely on numerous occasions since he broke into the first team.
United's legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is now the club's director, is impressed with Sanches' abilities and skills. The former Red Devils manager is an admirer of the midfielder and has joined United scouts to urge the club in signing him.
The Daily Mail reports that despite interest from Arenal, City, Bayern, Real and PSG, Sanches has set his sights on joining United. They also claim that the Red Devils have watched him on 22 consecutive occasions, including the one during Benfica's latest 1-0 victory over Rio Ave.
United's current manager Louis van Gaal's future at the club remains uncertain beyond the end of this season. Jose Mourinho is set to replace the Dutchman at Old Trafford and Spanish newspaper AS earlier reported the former Chelsea boss had made a request to United to sign Sanches as the midfielder is the Portuguese tactician's personal target.