West Ham United fans have been left feeling sick by Renato Sanches’s brilliant performances for Portugal at Euro 2020.

Portugal may be out, but Sanches – fresh from winning Ligue 1 with Lille – was their standout star. Looking every inch world class in central midfield – where he could have been playing for West Ham.

In the summer of 2017, then West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was searching for a central midfielder – much like David Moyes is this window as back-up for Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.

But Bilic snubbed two midfielders that West Ham co-owner David Sullivan had offered to sign for him.

Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16
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Bilic snubbed Sullivan offer to sign Euro 2020 star Sanches back in 2017

One was Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak. The other? Renato Sanches.

In the end Sanches moved to Swansea on loan from Bayern Munich.

And West Ham chief Sullivan revealed Bilic had turned down the offer of taking Sanches on loan with an option.

“Grzegorz Krychowiak and Renato Sanches were both offered to the manager before their switches elsewhere, but he told us that he is happy with the squad he has,” Sullivan told Sky Sports back in September 2017.

Reading Women v West Ham United Ladies - Women's FA Cup Semi Final
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Moyes ended up replacing Bilic as Hammers struggled

“As a board we are behind Slaven, and he believes he has the tools to turn around our form and rectify our disappointing start to the season.”

Bilic may have felt he had the tools but he did not turn around West Ham’s poor start and in came Moyes for his first spell.

While the Scot slowly but surely turned West Ham around, Sanches endured one of the worst loan spells in memory.

 

Swansea seemed to be the completely wrong club at the wrong time for a young talent that was moving to his second new country in less than a year.

Swansea City v Chelsea - Premier League
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Sanches Swans loan was woeful but imagine him as a Hammer now alongside Rice and Soucek

Imagine for a moment if West Ham had signed Sanches and ended up making the move permanent.

A midfield trio of Rice, Sanches and Soucek would take some beating.

But Slaven made his decision – and ultimately his bed – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Do not be surprised to see a second mega move of Sanches’s career this summer, though, off the back of his brilliant displays for the Portuguese.

The kind of money that would involve would almost certainly rule West Ham out of a second chance at his signature.

Moyes does need to find suitable backup for Rice and Soucek, though.

In other West Ham transfer news, a club insider has delivered his verdict on Moyes’s reported interest in Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite.

And the Hammers look set to miss out to Prem rivals Leeds in the race for one of Moyes’s longstanding targets.

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