Renato Sanches: Swansea boss Paul Clement doubted signing

Renato Sanches
Renato Sanches played 71 minutes for Portugal under-21s against Wales this week and came up against some youngsters from the Swans' youth set-up. Portugal won 2-0.

Paul Clement has revealed he was unsure whether Swansea City would be able to pull off the loan signing of highly-rated midfielder Renato Sanches.

The Swansea head coach pulled off one of the transfer coups of the window signing the Euro 2016 winner from Bayern Munich and is hopeful he can help him fulfil his potential.

"My initial call went into Karl Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern CEO," he said.

"I kind of worded it as, if you don't ask you don't get."

"At that point he said there was a massive amount of interest in Renato and they hadn't decided on his future yet so I left it for a number of weeks," he said.

"It was actually a couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with Carlo Ancelotti [Bayern's Head Coach] on the phone and I asked him if he had any players and he mentioned Renato.

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Clement keen on further big name signings

"It was at that point that the serious discussions started.

"It looked like it was difficult to do it and then it got nearer, then further away again.

"Obviously I was absolutely delighted when we got it over the line."

Fulfilling his potential

Sanches arrives in Swansea on Thursday night after featuring for Portugal under-21s in their 2-0 win over Wales and will train with his new teammates twice before making his debut against Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

He made just six starts in the Bundesliga last season after costing Bayern €35m in July 2016.

But Clement is hopeful that he can fulfil more of his potential at the Liberty Stadium.

"If you look at all parties involved, Renato included as well as us and Bayern, there are lots of wins here," Clement added.

Cristiano and Renato Sanches
Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanches celebrate after Portugal's Euro 2016 victory

"He's a player that's gone from Benfica to Bayern, two big clubs, with a lot of expectation and he hasn't played any where near as much as he would have liked or the club would have liked.

"And the decision with him coming here was that he could possibly go to another big club but he could end up in the same situation where he's playing 40%, 50% of the games.

"Bayern wanted him to play more regularly, I want him to play regularly and he wants to play regularly.

"He's still a young player so we have to be careful we don't put loads of pressure and expectation on him.

"At the same time, if anyone saw during Euro 2016 for Portugal you could see what kind of a talent he is, technical ability, his personality, his physical quality and he was good enough to play in that team that went on to win the Euros.

"I think it's about rediscovering that confidence, continuing to develop and work with him in a tactical sense and I think he can have a big contribution and help this club a lot."

Fernando Llorente
Fernando Llorente won the World Cup with Spain in 2010

'I can understand Llorente decision'

As well as Sanches, the Swans also brought in former striker Wilfried Bony on deadline day to replace last season's top scorer Fernando Llorente, who joined Tottenham.

And Clement has revealed they blocked a potential move in January for the Spaniard because of their predicament at the bottom of the Premier League table.

"The other club would have liked him, but from our point of view it wasn't going to happen," he said.

"It was so important that he stayed here and it proved to be right to keep him here.

"The situation [this summer] was that Chelsea were very interested in him for a long period, we managed to keep him here in the last window and it was very important that we did that as he came up with some important goals and helped us stay in the league.

"Quite late on [in the summer transfer window] Tottenham showed interest in him so he had a couple of options.

"I can understand why he made that step, he's played for some very big clubs.

"It was clear that if that possibility came up to go and play in the Champions League he would like to do that and I understood that."

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