According to sources in Portugal, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants to make Benfica attacker Darwin Nunez his flagship acquisition this summer.
This season, the Uruguay international has been in fantastic form for the Portuguese club, netting 34 goals in 41 games across all competitions.
Nunez scored 16 goals in 32 games for Almeria to earn a transfer to Benfica in 2020, and after scoring only six league goals last season, he has truly erupted this season.
This has drawn admiring looks from teams all across Europe this season, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham, and Newcastle among the most prominent.
Respected writer Fabrizio Romano said earlier this month that any team interested in acquiring Nunez would have to submit a bid “about €75-80 million” to begin discussions.
“It will depend on the price since, for example, on deadline day in January, West Ham made a request of €45 million (£39 million) and it was turned down because Benfica wanted €55 million (£47 million),” Romano said on the Wondergoal podcast.
“With €55 million, I don’t believe you’re going to get him.” So, roughly €75-80 million (£64-£68 million) is required for Darwin Nunez to begin talks with Benfica.
“He now has a new agent who is very connected to Jorge Mendes, which will impact the player’s future.”
“So, everything is open, but I’m confident Darwin will be prepared to leave Benfica and make a huge transfer in the summer.”
And now, according to the Portuguese publication Record (via Sport Witness), Manchester United are ‘running on the sidelines’ to sign Nunez, with Liverpool and Real Madrid – who face off in the Champions League final on Saturday – the two primary teams interested.
Man United, on the other hand, have ‘chosen to persuade Darwin’ since new manager Ten Hag wants to make him the reference point of their assaults, and the Red Devils have the ‘financial ability’ to fight for the €100 million-rated striker.
United will be at a disadvantage compared to Liverpool, whose manager Jurgen Klopp was very pleased’ with Nunez during Benfica’s two Champions League quarter-finals against the Reds earlier this season.
Nunez’s future will be determined ‘after tomorrow’s final,’ according to the publication, with two of his possible suitors avoiding any disruptions.