James Pearce has confirmed a ‘growing belief’ that Liverpool can agree a deal with Benfica for their prolific hitman, Darwin Nunez, this summer.
The Merseysiders have been on the look out for a quality addition to the front-three ever since it became clear that Sadio Mane’s head was turned by the prospect of a fresh challenge away from Merseyside.
“Initial talks between the clubs have been positive with Benfica demanding a package of around €100 million (£85 million),” the reporter wrote alongside Raphael Honigstein for The Athletic.
“That would involve Liverpool breaking their transfer record of £75 million which was set when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in 2018 but it hasn’t put them off.
“There has also been serious interest in Nunez from Atletico Madrid and Manchester United but the player’s preference is to move to Anfield and there’s a growing belief that a deal will be done.”
In the No.10, the Reds will be losing some serious firepower, not to mention one of the most reliable members of a world-class lineup also featuring forwards with expiring contracts in Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino.
Our Egyptian King’s current deal is a problem that will no doubt be dealt with following his return to England but for now it seems Julian Ward has begun life superbly at the helm of our recruitment team.
Replacing a force of nature in the Senegalese speedster was never going to be an easy task, and while Nunez isn’t quite the finished article, there was plenty on show during our meeting with Benfica in Europe to demonstrate the awesome potential on offer.
In the 22-year-old, we’ll be getting at least eight years of football – potentially more judging by improvements in sports science – which arguably more than justifies the kind of fee being thrown around.
All in all, it would seem an ideal response to Manchester City’s own statement of intent with the acquisition of global superstar, Erling Haaland.