Newcastle in contact with Jorge Mendes for 24-year-old Ligue 1 star– the right move by Howe?

Renato Sanches in action for Lille. FedericoPestellini/Panoramic
Renato Sanches in action for Lille. FedericoPestellini/Panoramic

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Transfer News: Newcastle United keen on signing Lille midfielder Renato Sanches

According to transfer news on Calciomercato (h/t Yorkshire Evening Post), Newcastle United are in contact with Jorge Mendes over a deal for Lille ace Renato Sanches. The Portuguese midfielder has continued his brilliant form at the French club this season but is linked with a move away.

The Benfica academy product came to the fore after his sensational performances in the 2016 European Championship as he helped Portugal win the competition. He was signed by Bayern Munich in the same summer, but things never clicked for him at the Allianz Arena. A permanent transfer to Lille was agreed upon after a dreadful loan spell at Swansea City. However, after just 2 seasons at the French club, Sanches could be set for a return to England.

Is it time for him to depart Lille? And would this be the right move by Eddie Howe?

Newcastle United need all the help they can get

Since signing for the Ligue 1 outfit in 2019, the Portuguese international has racked up 69 appearances across all competitions. However, his performances last season helped the club break PSG’s monopoly over the league title. Sanches was later linked with an exit in the summer but a deal failed to get off the ground.

Newcastle United are eager to sign Renato Sanches from Lille. (imago Images)
Newcastle United are eager to sign Renato Sanches from Lille. (imago Images)

Newcastle United might certainly try their hand at this deal. The Saudi-led consortium took over the club last month and began their new era by hiring Eddie Howe. The English manager is one of the more modern tacticians but is yet to lead the club to their first league victory of the season.

Avoiding relegation is going to be an uphill task, and the Geordies would need a solid second half of the season. Mid-season additions could help in this scenario, and bringing in Sanches could do the trick. 

Although nothing indicates that the 24-year-old will be added to the ranks in January, one would believe that the St. James’ Park outfit would want to get in a few quality players during the winter transfer window in order to strengthen their current squad. Newcastle pulled off something similar last season when they signed Joe Willock in January, and the Englishman helped them stave off the drop to the Championship.

The Lille star could be a similar addition, and given his talent and status in European football, he is likely to be one of the first names on the team sheet. 

Financial viability

Sanches is apparently valued at £29.6million, and meeting that figure would allow him to leave the French club. Newcastle are willing to pay this fee. The Tyneside outfit has also established contact with his agent, Jorge Mendes.

Newcastle United are willing to pay the £29.5million release clause of Renato Sanches.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Newcastle United are willing to pay the £29.5million release clause of Renato Sanches. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

However, one must take into account the potential ambitions of the player. The former Bayern Munich man is currently plying his trade with the reigning Ligue 1 champions. Eddie Howe is doing his best to keep Newcastle up this season, but even he cannot guarantee it. Playing in the Championship shall be a step down for the Portuguese international, after all.

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But a lucrative offer coupled with incentives is always something the Magpies can opt for- not that it would guarantee Sanches’ signature. It might not be the most exciting project but has the potential to become one in the coming years. The decision might eventually be down to the player, especially since he is entering the peak of his professional career. 

As for Newcastle, they can do with some additions in midfield, that too in a timely manner. The likes of Jeff Hendrick, Joe Willock, and Isaac Hayden are undoubtedly talented players, but Sanches’ potential addition would bring some top-level experience and dynamism to the midfield.