London (AFP) – Euro 2016 winner Renato Sanches has joined Swansea City on a season-long loan move from Bayern Munich, the English Premier League club announced Thursday.
The 20-year-old Portugal midfielder will join his new team-mates in south Wales upon his return from international duty, Swansea said.
Swansea manager Paul Clement worked with Sanches while he had a six-month spell as an assistant at Bayern last year before moving to the Liberty Stadium.
Sanches joined Bayern from Benfica for £27.5 million ($35.4 million, 29.9 million euros) last season after featuring in Portugal’s run to the European Championship title and went on to make 26 appearances for the German giants as they took the Bundesliga crown.
But he spent most of last season on the bench and now Bayern have warned Sanches he needs to show his old form with south Wales side Swansea if he is to have a future in Munich after completing a loan move worth a reported 8.5 million euros.
– ‘Play at a high level’ –
“We are delighted that we have reached an agreement with Swansea City on a lending basis,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“It was our goal for Renato to be regularly used by a club in a very strong league such as the Premier League,” the former Germany international added.
“We wanted Renato Sanches to go to a club where he could play at a high level and have a coach who counts on him,” Rummenigge told German football magazine Kicker.
“He needs to play continuously for a year, which he could not guarantee with us, given the quality in the squad.”
However, the Bayern boss warned Sanches that he “has to put his foot on the gas” while on loan.
Bayern have clearly not give up on the midfielder, even though he has shown none of the form which helped Portugal win the Euro 2016 title.
The German club have refused to sell him, which reportedly put off interest from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool.
“We are still convinced that he has the potential to become an important player for FC Bayern in the future,” added Rummenigge.
“For this reason, it is firmly agreed that the player, without a clause, will return to Bayern on July 1 2018.”
Rummenigge added Sanches showed tantalising glimpses of what he was capable of during Bayern’s tour of China and Singapore in July “when he went off like a rocket” in their 3-2 pre-season win over English champions Chelsea.
However, Sanches has repeatedly failed to emerge from the shadow of Bayern’s star-studded midfield which boasts Arturo Vidal, new-signing Corentin Tolisso and Thiago Alcantara.
The confirmation of his arrival, on the final day of the summer transfer window in Britain, adds to Swansea’s midfield options after they recently signed Sam Clucas from second-tier Hull City.
Swansea are currently 13th in the 20-team Premier League after a win, a draw and a loss in their opening three games of the season.