Simon Hughes and Adam Crafton noted that Manchester United’s pursuit of Darwin Nunez was marked by a great deal of misfortune.
It may very well have helped pave the way for Liverpool’s move for the Benfica hitman with the Reds later confirming the signing for a £64m up front fee.
“Before Liverpool’s quarter-final with Benfica – where Nunez scored in each leg – Manchester United had arranged to meet Benfica’s president Rui Costa to discuss a deal but Costa and his family suffered food poisoning celebrating his birthday,” the journalists wrote in a joint piece for The Athletic.
“With the meeting postponed, United officials needed some convincing and may have taken it as a snub.
“It did not help United that new manager Erik ten Hag, who likes Nunez a lot having seen him score against Ajax in the Champions League, was not appointed by the time Liverpool started to gain headway in their pursuit.”
The Uruguayan international is set to compete with the likes of Diogo Jota and Bobby Firmino for a spot in the starting-XI ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Times are hard for the Red Devils, as the club continues to struggle to bring in top talent to give new manager Erik ten Hag the best chance of revitalising an outfit that has taken quite the tumble from the peak of English football since Sir Alex Ferguson’s exit.
Ultimately, of course, it serves the purpose of highlighting our remarkable transfer team, which continues to excel in the market, even when challenged by the departure of one of Europe’s most renowned, world-class stars in Sadio Mane.