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Rumour Mongering: Barcelona Chaos Clears Path for Sanches to Liverpool

Reports in Spain cast the Reds as favourites to sign the 23-year-old Lille and Portugal midfielder.

FC Porto v Lille OSC - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Earlier in the summer, one of the players most frequently linked to Liverpool was Lille and Portugal 23-year-old midfielder Renato Sanches, with the Ligue 1 side said to be struggling financially and actively looking to sell.

Over the past month, those rumours have mostly faded, but today they’ve been brought back into the limelight thanks to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, who had been keeping an eye on Sanches due to supposed Barcelona interest.

The obvious question if you’re going to be keeping an eye on Sanches due to supposed Barcelona interest is how exactly the Catalans are meant to pay not only Lille’s claimed €40M asking price but also the player’s wages.

Having lost Lionel Messi after it became clear couldn’t register the game’s greatest ever player, and being unable to register new signings Kun Aguero and Memphis Depay due to already exceeding La Liga’s salary cap, the simple answer is they can’t.

Barcelona cannot afford Sanches. Which means the favourites—and potentially the only big club both willing and able to do a deal with Lille for the player—is Liverpool. At least as Mundo Deportivo see the situation.

With Harvey Elliott impressing in a midfield role in pre-season, though, not to mention Lille appearing to be desperate and there being few obvious alternatives who could afford him, it’s hard to see the Reds being eager to do a deal at €40M.

If there’s any truth to the idea Liverpool rate Sanches highly, though, there probably is a price at which he becomes too good a value to pass on. With Barca out of the picture, the question could be just how desperate Lille are.