Steve McManaman tipped Darwin Nunez to leave Benfica when speaking about the Uruguayan earlier this season but warned that the 22-year-old is ‘nowhere near the finished article yet’.
Liverpool are believed to be closing in on a big-money deal for the forward and have reportedly offered the Portuguese outfit £68m for his signature.
Now, with transfer rumours intensifying, comments that McManaman made back in April when Nunez netted in Benfica’s 3-3 draw at Anfield have resurfaced.
“I think he will move on,” the ex-Red told BT Sport (via Liverpool World).
“No disrespect to the Portuguese league and Benfica, but they will probably look to sell him.
“There are only a number of clubs that can probably pay the asking price for him, and he may even turn up in the Premier League.
“He’s almost a rough diamond, there is still a lot to work on and a lot to improve on, but his movement is excellent and his goal against Liverpool was a really composed finish.
“There is a lot to like about him but he is nowhere near the finished article yet.”
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The forward took his goal very well on the night as the Portuguese outfit were defeated 6-4 on aggregate and were dumped out of the Champions League by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Nunez would come into the side and replace Sadio Mane who is reportedly nearing a move to Bayern Munich.
The Bundesliga giants have had two bids for the Senegal star turned down already but they will be hoping it’s third time lucky with their next offer.
Mane has become recognised as one of the world’s best players in recent years and has won every major trophy possible on Merseyside, but Liverpool clearly believe that Nunez can join the club and perform at the highest level.
The fact that McManaman has claimed that Nunez is ‘nowhere near the finished article’ won’t necessarily concern Liverpool supporters when they consider Klopp’s track record of signing players and turning them into world-class stars.
Hopefully the South American can join the club and hit the ground running just like Luis Diaz did back in January when he also arrived from the Portuguese top flight.
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