KEY POINTS

  • Sanches made his senior debut with the Lisbon-based club in 2015
  • Wijnaldum is being linked with a move to Barcelona
  • His contract is due to end in 2021 summer

Liverpool FC are reportedly eyeing Lillee midfielder Renato Sanches as a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum, who will be out of contract in the summer of 2021. Wijnaldum is wanted by Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp is keeping an eye on Sanches, who has been impressive at Lillee, a club where the Portuguese midfielder joined in 2019. If Wijnaldum leaves Anfield at the upcoming January transfer window, Sanches is being considered as a favorite to replace him in Klopp’s squad, French media outlet Le10sport.com reported.

Sanches, 23, graduated from Benfica’s academy, made his senior debut with the Lisbon-based club in 2015. He came into the limelight when he bagged the prestigious Golden Boy award after winning the Euro 2016 with Portugal national team that also featured Cristiano Ronaldo. The midfielder made a $43 million switch to Bayern Munich, where he spent three years. However, he failed to live up to the expectations and as a result, Bayern sent Sanches off on a season-long loan to Premier League club Swansea. Unfortunately, Sanches couldn’t even manage to claim a place in Swansea’s playing XI.

The young Portuguese midfielder has finally begun to revive his career and confidence in France with Lillee and has managed to gain the attention of some of the biggest European clubs, including Liverpool.

This is not for the first time Liverpool are being linked with Sanches. Klopp wanted the midfielder at Anfield even in 2017, during Sanches’ struggles in Germany. But, at that time, Bayern were willing to let go of the Portuguese player only on loan.

Record setter: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Anfield on Sunday Record setter: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Anfield on Sunday Photo: POOL / PETER POWELL

Even though Wijnaldum remains a vital cog of Liverpool’s current squad, the club has not offered the 30-year-old Dutchman a contract extension. Barcelona boss Koeman, who has worked with Wijnaldum at the international level with the Netherlands, has admitted on a number of occasions that he is keen on signing Wijnaldum along with Memphis Depay for the Camp Nou sign.

Wijnaldum has represented Liverpool in over 200 competitive matches and netted 20 goals. His contribution was crucial in the Reds’ successful Champions League campaign in 2018-19. The Dutchman had netted a brace in Liverpool's historic 4-0 win over Barcelona in their return semi-final leg at Anfield.