Benfica striker Darwin Nunez has emerged as a potential target for Liverpool ahead of the summer transfer window, Portuguese outlet O Jogo (today’s edition, page 12) reports.
The Reds bolstered their attacking department in January with the purchase of Luis Diaz from Porto. They were initially eyeing a summer move for the Colombian, but had to finalise the deal early after interest from rival Premier League clubs.
While Diaz has made a positive start to his Liverpool career, it is reported that the Merseyside giants could enter the market for another forward signing. As per O Jogo, Nunez is on the club’s target list, but won’t come cheaply with a £54.3m price tag.
Liverpool have a big summer ahead. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have just 16 months left on their respective contracts. The Reds will need to negotiate renewals with the trio or they could consider their potential departures.
Among them, Firmino has probably become less important as the current season has progressed, considering his injuries. The Brazil international is no longer an assured starter up front when fit with the consistent displays of Diogo Jota this term.
If the club do need to choose whom to keep, it could be Salah and Mane over Firmino. Nunez has been long linked with a Premier League club. He was initially on Brighton & Hove Albion’s radar before West Ham United failed with a £40m bid last month.
The Uruguayan could pursue a new challenge this summer, and could the perfect fit for Liverpool. He is versatile with his ability to play as a striker or on the left wing. The 22-year-old also likes to operate in a deeper attacking role, initiating counter-attacks.
However, his main strength lies in his goalscoring. He has netted a stunning 25 goals from 30 outings this campaign. It remains to be seen whether the Reds are willing to make a such a huge outlay on Nunez, who may want the assurance of a starting role up front.