Paul Clement has refuted reports that on-loan midfielder Renato Sanches is set to return to Bayern Munich after failing to make an impact at Swansea.
Reports in Sanches’ native Portugal on Thursday night suggested the 20-year-old would be heading back to Germany in January halfway through his one-year loan deal.
But head coach Clement has denied that is the case and Sanches – who has been omitted from Swansea’s last two matchday squads – is working hard to get back into the team.
“I haven’t had any specific communication with Bayern about Renato’s current situation, but he’s not going back,” Clement said.
“He’s been out of the last two squads, which is obviously not a good situation for him.
“He’s not very happy about it, but his reaction has been very good in training.
“He’s very motivated and knows what he needs to do to break back not only into the 18, but into the team as well.
“Contractually I believe he’s signed for us for the season, and there was no stipulation in there that he has to play a certain amount of games to stay for the full term. So he’s a player here for the season.”
Earlier on Friday, Bayern manager Jupp Henyckes discussed the midfielder.
“”I have talked to Hasan Salihamidzic [Bayern’s sporting director] over the last few weeks about our players on loan and that we have to take good care of them,” Heynckes said.
“Like [Serge] Gnabry at Hoffenheim or Sanches at Swansea. I assume that he talked to him on the phone, but there were no talks about getting him back now in the winter. So that rumour surprises me.
“I consider Sanches a great talent, truly. But talent is one thing – the others are daily work, discipline, integration and being a team player.
“The young people have to be led and supported. And sometimes you have to do that forcefully.”
Sanches started only six Bundesliga games at Bayern last season after completing a 35million Euros move from Benfica the previous summer.
But Swansea’s signing of Sanches – who was named the best young player at the 2016 European Championship won by Portugal – in August was still hailed as a massive coup for the Welsh club.
Sanches, however, has been a huge disappointment at Swansea, failing to score or provide an assist in his 10 appearances.
He was also ridiculed for passing a ball straight into an advertising hoarding at Chelsea last month with no teammate anywhere near – and has had only five minutes of first-team action since.
“We need to get him back to what he is capable of but his confidence is clearly low,” Clement said.
“It was low when he came here and we hoped that it would have gone back up to a very good level.
“It’s taken more time than we would have hoped, but he can’t expect to keep getting picked if he’s not performing at the level.
“But we will stay with him, keep showing belief in him and work with him behind the scenes on the training ground and in the video room.
“I know the skills I have to get the best out of young players and I believe in the skills he has. Hopefully we can work together for a good solution.”