Renato Sanches reveals all about his failed move to PSG
Renato Sanches gave an interview to L'Équipe in which he explained why the deal fell flat. "My agent told me I was going to Paris but Kovac blocked the move"
With his new club Lille, Renato Sanches is slowing returning to the exciting player he was at Benfica. The Portuguese midfielder, who endured a tough time at both Bayern Munich and Swansea after leaving Lisbon, hopes to be back at his best with the national team at this summer's Euro 2020. In an interview with L'Équipe, he explained why his proposed move to Paris-Saint Germain which never came about.
First choice once again: "I feel happy - everyone wants to play. I know I have the talent but I need to show it. Right now, I feel good".
Expectations: "I don't think I've suffered. It was difficult at first, when I left Portugal. I wasn't ready for it and didn't know how to meet the challenge. After the first year, I changed my mentality and physically I adapted to the German game but I wasn't given the opportunity I felt I deserved. But it's all in the past now. Now, I just want to show that I am a good player".
Renato Sanches recalls Swansea stint
Swansea: "I was injured. I couldn't train. I didn't feel motivated. I was injured three times. I didn't feel good in myself and my leg wasn't right. Normally, I feel strong but at that point, I didn't feel anything - just that nothing was going right".
Proposed move to PSG falls through: "I spoke to Antero Henrique (former Director of Sport PSG), who had spoken to [Jorge] Mendes, my agent. Everything was ready. I was having dinner at a restaurant and my agent called to tell me: 'Tomorrow, you'll be flying out to Paris'. I told him that was fine with me, and went home to pack my suitcases. The following day I showed up at training and Niko Kovac turned to me and said: 'Don't go!'. I stayed and didn't ply for the team that week. In the next game, I played five minutes. I saw how I'd lost my place with the national team and some of my skills were not as sharp. Even my own team mates were asking me why I wasn't playing because I was one of the best in training. Even [Niklas] Süle mentioned it in an interview. And the same thing happened last summer..."
From Bayern to Lille: "I was ready to play at Bayern.The president knew that, the coach knew... Munich was my home but seeing that nothing was going to change, I spoke to Jose Fonte and with [Lille Director] Luis Campos - who I'd known from my holidays back in Lisbon. My agent presented me with other offers but it was Lille's which appealed to me. I had a good feeling about it. It's not a small club and if you play well, you'll get noticed. I only want to play and be happy again".
Returning to the Portugal side
Euro 2020: "I joined Lille because I have a set of objectives to reach and being at Euro 2020 is one of them. I want to be in the list all of the time - not now and again. I want to be in the team".
Coming out of a bad situation: "It's all in the past now. Now is the moment when I have to redeem myself. It's now when I have to show everyone my best football - my family and the people who have helped me a lot. And not just on the pitch, but in life in general".
Street football: "When I was a kid, we always played out in the street. I was always with a ball at my feet. Now and again, I'll take some aspects of street football to the pitch. That was how I learned how to play. I have a different style. I've seen players in France who also have a style influenced by playing on the street. That's my style, I was born that way, I'm a bit different. I'm not saying I'm special but it just means I do things a little differently to other players".