Belfast Telegraph

Renato Sanches must earn place in Swansea team, insists Paul Clement

Renato Sanches must merit his Swansea place as head coach Paul Clement has revealed there is no deal with Bayern Munich to guarantee the Portugal star game time.

Swansea pulled off one of the transfer shocks of summer by landing the Euro 2016 winner on a season-long loan from the Bundesliga champions on deadline day.

Bayern signed Sanches from Benfica for 35million euros in May 2016, but agreed to send the 20-year-old out on loan after he made just 26 appearances last season.

Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool and Monaco were all linked with permanent moves for the midfielder, but Bayern were only keen on a loan arrangement and Clement, their former assistant coach, used his connections in Bavaria to complete the deal.

"My initial call went into Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the CEO at Bayern," Clement said ahead of Sunday's Premier League home game with Newcastle.

"I worded it that 'if you don't ask, you don't get' and it looked like it would be very difficult to do.

"I was delighted to get it over the over the line, but there are no guarantees that Renato has to play - and Bayern are of the same view.

"He has to merit getting in to the side. That is how it should be.

"I am happy with that arrangement, but at the same time I have brought him here to contribute."

Sanches, who played for Portugal Under-21s in midweek, is set to train with his new Swansea team-mates for the first time on Friday.

Clement confirmed that Sanches will be involved against Newcastle but, while he is set to start, fellow deadline-day signing Wilfried Bony is likely to be on the bench.

"We'll check Renato over when he comes in, but I have no reason to believe there are any problems," Clement said.

"He played 70 minutes the other night for Portugal Under-21s and when I knew him at Bayern he was always in good physical shape.

" The decision in him coming here was that he could possibly go to another big European club and end up in the same situation where he is playing 40 or 50 per cent of the games.

" So we all came to the decision that this would be a good destination for him.

"But he's still a young player so we have to be careful not to put loads of pressure and expectation on him.

"He is a foreign player coming to a new league and this is a very demanding league."

Bony's fitness situation is not so straightforward as the former Swansea striker has not played in the Premier League since the end of December, when he was on loan at Stoke.

The Ivory Coast striker, who scored 34 goals in 70 games in his first spell at Swansea between 2013 and 2015, rejoined the club in a £12million deal after an underwhelming spell at Manchester City.

Bony cost City £28m when he joined them in January 2015 but he made only 15 league starts in two-and-a-half years at the Etihad Stadium.

"We thought long and hard about whether to bring him back," Clement said.

"But in all cases the decision was yes, that it was positive.

"I got a good feel for him when talking to him about his time away and his motivation, and he is coming back here to do very well.

"He wants to get his career back on track and, like any footballer who loves the game, he wants to play and he will have the chance here."

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