Manchester United and Arsenal set to do battle for this £46m-rated 18-year old Benfica star

By Richard Johnson

 

 

Renato Sanches played 90 minutes for Benfica in front of Manchester United and Arsenal scouts in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

 

 

 

Both Barclays Premier League clubs are tracking the 18-year-old, who is represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes and priced at £46million by his Portuguese club.

 

 

 

Benfica were knocked out by Bayern Munich but this was not the first time that Arsenal joined United in sending scouts to assess the starlet this season.

 

 

 

United also watched Sanches star in a 2-1 win at Academica last week and Arsenal were there then too as he was named man of the match for Benfica.

 

 

After opening talks in January, United felt they were frontrunners to sign Sanches, but the Old Trafford club are being given a run for their money from other European clubs.

 

 

 

Scouts from several sides were also sent to Leiria last month to watch him play for Portugal against Belgium, when he came on as a substitute at half-time in a 2-1 win.

 

 

 

His contract at Benfica does not run out until 2021 but Sanches seems set to be at the centre of a tug of war this summer.

 

 

 

It is believed his club would be willing to sell for £31m up front with £15m in add-ons.

 

 

Manchester City were understood to also have representatives inside the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday night but it is not believed they were there to watch Sanches.

 

 

 

With Benfica losing 3-2 on aggregate, the possibility remains that Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola will be forced to face his future club in the Champions League semi-finals.

 

 

 

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