Renato Sanches has finally secured an exit from German champions Bayern Munich after the Portugal midfielder was announced by Ligue 1 runners-up Lille on Friday evening having completed a medical.

Also set for a switch to France is former Sporting man Adrien Silva, who is on the verge of joining Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco from Leicester City. The midfielder spent the second half of last season with Les Monegasques, and a similar deal is believed to have been agreed to secure his return.

Sanches’ departure brings an end to a wholly disappointing three years since he moved to Bayern after Euro 2016. Last season represented arguably the most frustrating of the 21-year-old’s career, with Bayern twice reneging on assurances over playing time and Sanches scarcely involved during the second half of the season.

Related article: Portugal star Renato Sanches “not happy” at Bayern Munich

Things appear to have come to a head last Friday on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season. Sanches was introduced on 85 minutes by coach Niko Kovac and responded by again expressing his displeasure to reporters, while subsequent stories suggest the midfielder was fined by his club for not attending a post-match warm-down.

Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic hinted earlier this week that Bayern may finally back down on their previous position that Sanches was unavailable, and Lille have moved quickly to secure a deal. According to reports in both France and Portugal, the French side will pay €20m for Sanches, who will wear the no18 shirt, with potentially another €5m in bonuses.

Sanches landed in Lille on Friday to undergo his medical and his new club later drip-fed teasing messages about the impending deal to tease their supporters, before confirming the signing with an official video. Sanches will become the fourth Portuguese at the club, with vice-captain José Fonte, new arrival Tiago Djaló and midfielder Xeka already at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Lille has been a popular destination for Portuguese players in recent years. Rafael Leão left the club this summer for AC Milan, and Rui Fonte and Edgar Ié also departed, while Euro 2016 hero Éder and recent Sevilla signing Rony Lopes had spells with the club in the past. Former Portugal defender Ricardo Costa was at Lille briefly on loan in 2010, but Pedro De Figueiredo was the first Portuguese to represent the club, having come through the academy before later moving to the country of his birth to represent Vitória Setúbal and Santa Clara.


Silva set for Monaco return

Adrien Silva also looks set to end an unhappy foreign experience with a move to France, with the midfielder to re-join Leonardo Jardim at Monaco after two miserable years with Leicester City. According to various reports, Silva is currently in Monaco to complete his medical examinations ahead of signing a one-year loan contract with no purchase option.

Premier League club Leicester splashed out €25m to bring the midfielder to England in August 2017, but having sent the paperwork too late to meet FIFA’s deadline, the Portugal international was ruled to be ineligible to play until the following January.

Silva never really recovered from the setback and has complained publicly about his treatment in England. Having impressed in Jardim’s midfield during his brief spell with Monaco last year, a move back to the Stade Louis II was always seen as a priority for the 30-year-old.

By Sean Gillen

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I think in theory a good move for Renato. He is too young and too talented to be wasting away on the Bayern bench. Bayern was clearly the wrong move for him, and hopefully now he will move on with his career which has so much potential. Lille is...

I think in theory a good move for Renato. He is too young and too talented to be wasting away on the Bayern bench. Bayern was clearly the wrong move for him, and hopefully now he will move on with his career which has so much potential. Lille is a good club for him to gain his confidence and old form back. They are competitive in France, a top 4 team there, in the CL this season...but at the same time it's a club where he won't face too much intense pressure I wouldn't have thought, so seems ideal for him in this moment.

As a Benfica fan it's a shame we didn't take him back, given our little number 8 crisis at the moment (Gabriel, Gedson and David Tavares all unavailable through injury). Renato could have been very useful for that position for us right now.

In any case, it's good for Renato's career to have moved on and to make a fresh start. He's still very young with a lot to offer. And for the Selecao this could be very good news. Playing regularly at Lille could get his old form back. And the number 8 position for the Selecao is still very much up for grabs, and Renato offers qualities for that position that virtually nobody else does.

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“We deserved this qualification, not only for these two games against Arsenal but also for our spirited performances in Europe throughout the season regardless of the results.”

Pedro Martins
(Olympiacos' Portuguese coach after sensational Europa League victory over Arsenal)