Renato Sanches deserves another year to prove himself at Bayern - Hoeness
Renato Sanches should be given another year to achieve a breakthrough at Bayern Munich, according to club president Uli Hoeness.
Sanches, 19, winner of the 2016 Golden Boy award and voted best young player at Euro 2016, has struggled to meet expectations at Bayern since his move last summer from Benfica.
The Portugal international only started six Bundesliga games last season, failing to score or provide an assist in 25 appearances in all competitions, while completing 90 minutes on just a single occasion.
After a disappointing opening campaign, Sanches was declared "one of the flops of the season" by Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus.
However, Bayern president Hoeness says there were mitigating circumstances behind Sanches' difficult start to his career in Germany.
"He couldn't prepare well after the European Championship last year and was injured for a rather long time," Hoeness told kicker. "It's also a difficult question because [Bayern coach] Carlo Ancelotti is also under pressure to deliver success. You cannot demand from the outside that he selects a certain player.
"Ultimately, the player also has to be good enough. I urge that we try him for another year. He signed a five-year deal so nothing much changes if we try him for another year."
Meanwhile, Hoeness, a former player and general manager at Bayern, also said Douglas Costa could leave Bayern if a club meets the Bavarians' asking price -- reported to be in the region of €40 million.
The Brazil international has been linked with a move to Juventus after falling down the Bayern pecking order last season behind Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben, though Sky Italia reports that the Serie A champions are no longer trying to sign him.
Hoeness said: "If a club pays the fee that [Bayern CEO] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has asked for then he will leave. We paid a lot of money for him so we now want more in return. However, as long as he hasn't signed anywhere else, he will return. If he doesn't sign, he will start the season with us on Aug. 18 [for Bayern's opening Bundesliga fixture against Bayer Leverkusen]."
Commenting on Corentin Tolisso, Bayern's new record signing at €41.5m from Lyon, Hoeness said: "The price isn't necessarily a guarantee of quality; sometimes crazy prices are paid without any quality emerging. You can only tell if the player is worth the money in a year or two.
"I've thoroughly acquainted myself with Tolisso and only received positive information. I'm really looking forward to seeing him play. I prefer that we experiment instead of buying big names for €60m, €70m, €80m and who are already perhaps 26, 27, 28, 29 years old. I think it's a very sensible decision to sign a 22-year-old with a good reputation."
Hoeness, who has said that he is not expecting a Bayern bid for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, also added he was impressed by Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka's contribution in Germany's Confederations Cup success in Russia.
Goretzka, 22, is under contract at Schalke until 2018 and has so far not agreed to an extension. The midfielder has been linked with a switch to Bayern, who could elect to wait for the player's signature next summer on a free transfer.
Hoeness refused to comment on transfer speculation but said: "Everybody who knows about football saw that Leon Goretzka left a huge impression at this event in Russia."
And Hoeness says Bayern have got themselves a great deal in signing Sebastian Rudy on a free transfer from Hoffenheim. Rudy was another integral member of Germany's successful Confederations Cup side.
"I have to rebuke journalists who only look at how much a player costs," Hoeness said. "The most successful transfers are the best ones, not those that cost the most money. I'm convinced Sebastian Rudy is one of those cases in which the value for money speaks most for the player."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.