Bayern have made a huge opening gambit for next season, signing Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels and Benfica's 18-year-old midfielder Renato Sanches.
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Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches was a UEFA.com Weekly Wonderkid back in December; now the 18-year-old is one of the most expensive teenagers in Europe, the Portuguese club announcing that he has gone to Munich for an initial fee of €35m, which could rise to €80m.
"Bayern have been watching Renato Sanches for a long time," the club's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained. "We are happy to have signed him despite big-name competition from across Europe. Renato is a dynamic, combative and skilful midfielder, who will make our team even stronger."
Outgoing Bayern boss Josep Guardiola took time to sing Sanches's praises after his side eliminated Benfica in this season's UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. "He is by far one of the best young players in Europe," Guardiola noted. "He's everywhere on the pitch. He has a great future ahead of him."
He was not the only top coach to have noted the battling midfielder's qualities. "He has a strong shot and good vision for someone in his position," noted Atlético boss Diego Simeone. "It's always nice to see good young players."
Born in Lisbon, Sanches made his way through the youth ranks at Benfica, announcing his arrival in the first team this season with a a fantastic long-range strike in a Liga game against Académica. Comparisons with Edgar Davids and Yaya Touré had scouts from big clubs flocking to watch him, with a move to Manchester United mooted.
Where will Renato Sanches fit in at Bayern?
UEFA.com's Phil Röber explains
Bayern's decision to sign young talent makes sense; some key players are aged 30+, while youngsters Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman – both signed last season – made their mark in their debut season. Sanches is just a month younger than Coman was when he joined the club, with the Frenchman's acclimatisation to a new league and a new language a great example for the new arrival to follow.
Bayern have staggering strength in midfield already, especially in central positions, but the dynamic, tactically-astute Sanches looks to be perfectly suited to their aggressive pressing game, and it will be interesting to see how new boss Carlo Ancelotti tailors his midfield selections to each opponent next season. Sanches willl not breeze into the first team in Munich, but he showed at Benfica that he is a huge talent, and there is every reason to believe he will show his potential at Bayern.
What will Mats Hummels bring to Bayern?
"I am returning to my home city in the summer," said the 27-year-old central defender, who came through the youth ranks at Bayern and made his league debut under Ottmar Hitzfeld. Back at his old club, he will team up with Jérôme Boateng and Holger Badstuber – forming a trio of the best central defenders in Germany.
The signing of Hummels is a statement of intent for Bayern, who are on their way to building a squad that will allow them to field two different yet almost equally strong teams from match to match during busy periods. Hummels is a perfect fit: effective initiating build-ups, accurate with his long passing and strong in the air, he is a born leader for whom the 'mia san mia' (we are who we are) ethos will come naturally.