Jose Mourinho has confirmed he would have fought for Renato Sanches had he been appointed as Manchester United manager earlier.
Reports suggested Louis van Gaal pulled out of the race for the 18-year-old Portuguese midfielder, but many believe the club were beaten to the signing and should have landed his services ahead of Bayern Munich.
It was believed a deal between both clubs would have confirmed their intentions to replace van Gaal with Mourinho before Man United had made an official announcement.
Speaking about a deal, Mourinho insists he had watched Sanches many times at home.
“I arrived late. I signed in May, we started talking a week before, but completely out of the process,” he told Sport TV.
“If I had arrived earlier, I’d fight for him.
“Manchester United watched Renato many times and maybe I did it even more. In so much time at home, I watched many Benfica and Portuguese league games, I got to know the boy better with time.
“He’s in a a big club, in a league where he’ll certainly be the champion. The club have players of very high level which belong to the structure, a little like Benfica.”
Ed Woodward had sent scouts to extensively monitor Sanches for a majority of the season so it was a surprise for fans to see him having a medical for Bayern.
The youngster shone at Euro 2016 and was named Best Young Player as Portugal won their first major trophy in France.
He’s another name the club have missed out on and it’s a shame Mourinho wasn’t appointed earlier as we may have seen him at Old Trafford this season.