August 23, 2019 / 8:43 PM / 23 days ago

Soccer-Portugal's Sanches leaves Bayern to join Lille

BERLIN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich’s Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches has joined Ligue 1 side Lille on a four-year deal, the clubs announced on Friday.

Sanches, who joined Bayern as an 18-year-old in 2016 from Benfica, was largely confined to a minor substitute role in Munich amid strong competition for a starting spot.

He had spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Welsh club Swansea City and repeatedly tried to force through a move from Bayern to get more regular playing time.

“Renato Sanches asked us for the transfer because he wanted to join a club where he can play continuously,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

“We could not guarantee that at Bayern. It is also important for him to get match practice because he wants to earn a spot on the Portugal team for Euro 2020.”

Sanches, 22, played a total of 53 matches for the Bundesliga champions, scoring two goals. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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