Liverpool ready to SMASH their transfer record as they open talks to sign £ 85m Darwin Nunez with Benfica, ahead of Man United and Atletico Madrid – as Sadio Mane is certain to leave
- Liverpool have been in discussions with Benfica regarding striker Darwin Nunez
- The Reds are prepared to smash their transfer record to get him this summer
- Nunez is hot property, with Atletico Madrid and Man United also keen on him
- Sadio Mane is expected to leave, opening up a spot in Jurgen Klopp’s attack
Liverpool have targeted Darwin Nunez to be the new striker to light up Anfield and are prepared to smash their transfer record to sign him.
The Uruguay international is one of the rising stars in world football and is also wanted by Atletico Madrid and Manchester United but Liverpool are determined to sign Nunez with a deal that could reach as much as £ 85million.
Julian Ward, Liverpool’s new Sporting Director, has been in discussions with Benfica and it is understood that Nunez is keen to move to Merseyside.
If Liverpool can complete the transfer, it would be a massive statement of intent.
Darwin Nunez is in demand and Liverpool are ready to smash their transfer record to get him
Manager Jurgen Klopp is a fan of the Benfica striker and the clubs have held discussions
Nunez (left) scored in both games against Liverpool in the Champions League last season
Many had wondered what the future would hold for Liverpool in terms of their attack, given that Sadio Mane is now certain to leave this summer with Bayern Munich ready to replace Robert Lewandowski with the Senegalese forward.
Nunez, who can play on the left as well as through the middle, scored six goals in the Champions League last season, two of which came in the quarter-finals against Liverpool and he made a significant impression on Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool’s manager said in April of the 22-year-old: ‘A good looking boy! And a decent player as well.
Nunez is a powerful presence up front and has become a regular for Uruguay’s national team
Sadio Mane is set to leave Anfield this summer with Bayern Munich leading the race to sign him
‘Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.
‘He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him. ‘
If Liverpool can complete the deal, there would be echoes of the summer of 2018 when they responded to a Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid by making significant investments in their squad to kick-start an era of success.
Alisson Becker and Fabinho arrived four years ago for a combined £ 107m but the potential signing of Nunez would go down as the most expensive Liverpool have ever made, eclipsing the £ 75m it cost to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.
Klopp (middle) spoke about his admiration of Nunez before Liverpool played Benfica in April
The forward can hold the ball up and also finish well, as shown by his 34 goals last season
Atletico Madrid had long seemed the most likely destination for Nunez, with Diego Simeone looking to bolster his forward line, but there have been many suitors within the Premier League, including Manchester United – Nunez scored the goal that knocked Erik Ten Hag’s Ajax out of Europe .
One thing working against United, however, is the fact that Nunez, who is currently with the Uruguay squad ahead of this week’s game against Jamaica, wants to play in the Champions League and he is excited about the idea of potentially linking up with Klopp to develop his career.
Nunez, whose agents also represent Liverpool players Fabinho, Diogo Jota and Fabio Carvalho, moved to Europe in 2019 when he joined Almeria, finished last season with 34 goals in 41 appearances for Benfica.
Almeria are due 20 per cent of any future sale.