Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is set to undergo surgery on a knee injury which will likely end his chances of a move away from the Ligue 1 champions this summer.
The 23-year-old has reinvented himself in France, playing a key role in Lille’s surprise title triumph last season, and he saw his stock rise even higher with some excellent displays at Euro 2020 with Portugal.
That form had attracted interest from Arsenal, Barcelona and Liverpool, all of whom were contemplating moves for the midfielder, but the hype surrounding Sanches has paused after he suffered a knee injury in training.
“He had this discomfort for a few days but he had restarted training well this week,” manager Jocelyn Gourvennec said (via L’Equipe). “But this pain has become more severe.”
Sanches is set for further scans on Monday to determine the severity of his injury, but the belief is that he has damaged the meniscus in his knee and is expected to go under the knife on Monday to address the injury.
It is expected that Sanches will be sidelined until some time in September, which will almost certainly end his chances of sealing a transfer to any of the aforementioned suitors.
While links to Barcelona always seemed speculative, rumours of interest from both Arsenal and Liverpool have grown in the past few weeks, with both sides heavily linked with £40m bid for the 23-year-old.
Arsenal are looking for a dynamic, ball-carrying midfielder to inject some enthusiasm into that area of the pitch, with Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma both under consideration at the Emirates.
As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp hopes to find somebody to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, who left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, but finding that £40m needed to sign Sanches has been impossible thus far as those in charge at Anfield have warned the boss that he must sell before he can buy.
Both clubs are expected to continue searching for a new midfielder, but they will now have to consider options other than Sanches.