Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed that Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches will return to the club when his loan spell with English Premier League outfit Swansea City comes to an end on 30 June.
Sanches has struggled to display the sort of form that earned him the UEFA EURO 2016 Best Young Player accolade since joining Bayern from Benfica later that summer, but Rummenigge is hopeful incoming coach Niko Kovac will be able to work his magic on the undeniably gifted 20-year-old.
“He’s coming back,” Rummenigge told the Münchner Merkur. “Niko Kovac will try to help him rediscover his old strengths. It’s an exciting project.”
Sanches was considered one of world football’s hottest prospects when he arrived in Munich almost two years ago, but found playing time at a premium in his debut season with the record German champions.
After making 26 appearances, including just eight starts, the Benfica academy product linked up with ex-Bayern assistant coach Paul Clement at Swansea in August 2017.
The change of scenery did little to relight his world-beating spark, however, with 15 outings the sum part of his ill-fated stay in Wales. He hasn’t played competitively since 2 January 2018.
Rebuilding Sanches’ confidence – he was left out of Portugal’s FIFA 2018 World Cup squad – will be the first port of call, but if anyone can do it, it’s Kovac.
The former Croatia boss has worked wonders in the Eintracht Frankfurt dressing room, uniting and coaxing the very best out of a roster comprising as many as 11 different nationalities.
Indeed, after negotiating a relegation play-off in his first season in charge, Kovac oversaw an impressive eighth-placed finish in 2017/18.
The 46-year-old has also steered the Eagles to the 2018 DFB Cup final, which he will have the chance to lift at the expense of soon-to-be employers Bayern on 19 May.