Kevin Palmer confirmed that there are ‘significant stumbling blocks’ still to be overcome to get Liverpool’s deal with Benfica for Darwin Nunez over the line.
One such obstacle is that of Manchester United’s interest, with reports claiming that a meeting took place between Erik ten Hag and Jorge Mendes yesterday in a desperate last attempt to swing the balance back in the Red Devils’ favour.
“While Nunez has made it clear that he wants to sign for Liverpool, it remains to be seen whether the club’s owners will sanction a deal that may break the club’s transfer record of £75million, that was paid to Southampton to sign Virgin van Dijk in January 2018,” the reporter wrote for the Sunday World.
“Benfica are believed to be looking for a package close to £85million to sell Nunez this summer, as they appreciate they are in a strong negotiating position with two of the Premier League’s big-hitters competing for his signature.
“Nunez appears to play with a tempo and invention that would ensure he fits neatly into the Liverpool side, but United’s interest in the forward could still be a factor.”
The Uruguayan international is expected to see the Reds back in the region of £85m (including fee up front and add-ons attached), a figure the club is hoping to offset somewhat with the sale of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.
Given that the 22-year-old has expressed that Liverpool is his first-choice destination, however, it’s difficult to imagine what our league rivals could offer the striker to change his mind – particularly without the lure of Champions League football.
Should our Senegalese attacker depart the club as expected, it remains critical that we do manage to follow through with one quality signing to fill the seismic gap in the squad.
Nunez will bring plenty of goals to Anfield following a particularly prolific 2021/22 campaign with Benfica, though he remains very much a raw (but exciting) talent to be polished by Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff.