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Journalist says Wolves came so close to signing Sanches in the summer

Wolves were linked with signing Portugal international midfielder Renato Sanches on deadline day of the summer transfer window.

They continue to be linked with him and Lille’s president has said he can leave if the right offer comes in when the January window opens.

The Athletic’s Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers has shared just how close Wolves actually came to signing the midfielder.

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“(I) was told a couple of weeks ago that with Sanches they were as close as you could be to signing a player without it actually happening,” said Spiers.

“And that if they’d known how quickly he would have returned to action (early October) they probably would have gone through with signing him.

“Ultimately it came down to his injury and a fear that he could have been out until late October/early November, plus the games he’d then have taken to get up to speed, meaning you might not have him properly match sharp until, what, now kind of time? And then you’re paying his wages in full, plus a hefty loan fee.

“So it was considered too big a risk. And this is a player who’s never completed more than 60 per cent of a season before. Very injury prone. We’ll see what happens going forward but he’s not going to be short of offers. I hope they can resurrect it because a fit Renato Sanches would bring such a different dynamic to this team.”

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Carlo Ancelotti, now at Real Madrid, worked with Sanches at Bayern Munich, and described him as ‘fantastic’ and ‘amazing’ (The Daily Mail, July 2016).

That is an indication of his raw talent and he seems to have got his career back on track at Lille.

He has also seemingly got over his injury problems, making 11 appearances so far this season in all competitions, scoring once.

If Wolves did get Sanches, he would give Bruno Lage an energetic midfield option he simply does not have right now, as well as bolstering the squad at a time when it looks set to be stretched by the festive fixture programme.