Lille midfielder Renato Sanches had been linked with a move to Anfield this summer, but Liverpool’s hopes of signing the Portuguese international have been ended
Liverpool have been handed a major blow in their pursuit of Portuguese star Renato Sanches, after Lille confirmed that the midfielder would be out for six weeks.
So far during this window Jurgen Klopp has only made one acquisition, as Ibrahima Konate joined in a £36million deal from RB Leipzig, but Liverpool have reportedly been looking for a midfielder.
Georginio Wijnaldum left the club this summer to join Paris Saint Germain on a free transfer, and the Reds are yet to replace the Dutchman.
Sanches had been tipped to join Liverpool but a deal looks increasingly unlikely with only two weeks remaining in the transfer window.
Lille confirmed on Monday that Sanches underwent successful surgery for a meniscal lesion in his right knee, and is estimated to be out of action for a minimum of six weeks, fending off potential buyers with the window drawing to a close.
Liverpool were rumoured to be in the race for the Portuguese midfielder, with a £36m price-tag reportedly set by Lille, but Klopp will have to look elsewhere if he wishes to bring in a Wijnaldum replacement.
The 23-year-old was signed by Bayern back in 2016 following the previous European Championships in 2016, as a then 18-year-old Sanches starred for Portugal as they went on to win the competition.
However, Sanches failed to live-up to his ‘golden boy’ expectations, and following a loan spell to Swansea City, the midfielder was sold to Lille in 2019, where he has since found his feet.
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It was the European Championships again that put Sanches in the shop window, as he looked sharp yet more mature during Euro 2020 in the Portuguese midfield, although his side couldn’t defend their crown, and were defeated by Belgium in the round of 16.
Sanches played alongside Liverpool forward Diogo Jota this summer, which sparked increased speculation over the 23-year-old’s potential move to Anfield, but the injury will have almost definitely ruled out a late switch during this window.
The Portuguese star will certainly remain on Klopp’s radar though, but for the start of this season he will have to rely on the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to step up in Wijnaldum’s absense, with Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson yet to return for full fitness.
Both Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain featured for Liverpool during their Premier League opener on Saturday, and it was a successful start as the Reds kept up their incredible record at Carrow Road, beating newly promoted Norwich City 3-0.
Jota was amongst the scorers, and could potentially help convince his Portuguese compatriot to move to Anfield later down the line if Klopp still wants to secure his services.
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