Darwin Nunez was a “shoo-in” for Man Utd transfer before Liverpool joined the race

If Darwin Nunez has a straight shootout between Liverpool and Manchester United, it’ll be a no-brainer for the Uruguayan.

That’s the verdict of former Anfield star Stan Collymore, who reckons the Nunez’s signing would be the perfect shot across the bows of his old club’s rivals.

Mirror Sport columnist Collymore said: “Darwin Nunez scores goals and creates bother for defenders, so I’m very excited that Liverpool are in for him as well as Manchester United. Liverpool have to make the odd marquee signing as well to fire shots across the bows of the other big clubs in the Premier League, and signing Nunez for £68m would be one of those.

“I said a few weeks ago that Liverpool can’t just be known as a club that is buying players at £30million or £40m and hoping that every one of them is going to be the same stunning success that Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota have been, and that Luis Diaz potentially can be.

“You’re starting to get into Virgil van Dijk price-tag territory, near-club-record money, and I’m delighted to hear Liverpool saying, ‘We’re prepared to go marquee when we need to and when we want to’. Going for a player such as Nunez tells United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Co that Liverpool are in it to win it now even more than they have been in the Jurgen Klopp era. People thought he would be a shoo-in for United but that’s not the case and it would be the sort of signing I called for just a few weeks ago.

“And if it’s a choice between Liverpool and United at the moment then it’s a no-brainer to go to Liverpool. At one club, he’d be in with a chance of winning trophies immediately, whereas going to the other would be a punt. Let’s say he did think about going to United. I mean, there are no guarantees that, under Erik ten Hag, the Ajax school will be transferable. Certainly not with the febrile, bubbling pressure the supporter base is putting on the players and the Glazers.”

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who will end up signing Nunez this summer? Let us know in the comments section

Darwin Nunez scored in both legs of Benfica's Champions League quarter-final clash with Liverpool

Darwin Nunez scored in both legs of Benfica’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Liverpool
Getty Images)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was glowing in his praise for Nunez when asked about the player before the Reds faced Benfica in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final second leg back in April. Klopp was impressed by his first-leg showing when he went toe-to-toe with Reds defender Ibrahima Konate, and found the net. He said at the time: “An extremely good looking boy eh?! He is a really good boy – he played in front of me battling against Konate. He was calm for the finish. He is good, really good. If he stays healthy, he has a big career ahead of him.”

Darwin may have already been at Barcelona if the club’s hierarchy listened to Luis Suarez, who was still at the Catalan giants in 2019. His compatriot was playing in Spain’s second tier with Almeria but the advice was not taken on and he made the switch to Benfica in 2020. Collymore is not the only ex-Liverpool player who believes he should sign for the Reds with Glenn Johnson adamant the player should snub a move to Old Trafford.

Johnson said: “You’d think Nunez would head to Anfield if it’s between Liverpool and Manchester United. As we know, Manchester United don’t have the same pulling power they once did. There was a time when Manchester United came calling then the answer was ‘yes’. That’s not the case at the moment, so if Liverpool and Manchester United are going head to head for him then I’m sure he’d pick Liverpool over United.”

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