Liverpool could be playing with fire as they look to bring down the price of Benfica star Darwin Nunez, especially given their outgoings.
The Daily Mail have reported that despite talks with the Primeira Liga side are going smoothly for the forward, they are starting to dig their heels in over the fee involved. Director of football Julian Ward has reportedly flown out to Portugal to try and drive down the price of Nunez.
Benfica are demanding £68million this summer for their forward, which could raise by a further £17m with add-ons. However, the Reds appear to feel that paying £85m for one of the most exciting young forwards in world football is a stretch – but they need to be aware that are plenty of other suitors who could match that very asking price.
Manchester United, Newcastle and Atletico Madrid have all been linked with the Uruguay international previously and may be tempted to put an offer on the table for the 22-year-old. But Jurgen Klopp’s side may not be in a position to leave the door open a jar for competition to arrive at Benfica.
It is well reported that Sadio Mane has told the club that he wants to leave Anfield this summer, with Bayern Munich looking to sign the Senegal international. Liverpool are reportedly looking for a fee in the region of £35m for the former Southampton star, though whether the Bundesliga giants cough up that fee remains to be seen given that Mane’s contract expires in 2023.
AS Monaco are also eying up a move for winger Takumi Minamino, according to Foot Mercato. The Japan international has struggled in the Premier League since joining the club from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020, starting just one league game this season.
But Minamino has been seen as a player that can influence matches late on and is regularly brought into the Liverpool side for cup competitions, meaning that his departure would leave Klopp’s side short of another option in the final third when rotating. Of course, youngsters Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho are waiting in the wings for their chance to shine.
Though Nunez’s 26 goals in 28 league appearances for Benfica this season proves that he is at a different level to the aforementioned stars and already has the experience under his belt to become a regular under Klopp. But if the Reds slip up and fall at the final hurdle with their transfer talks, thus sacrificing the chance to sign Nunez, they could live to regret it given that they are on the verge of losing two forwards who have differing importance currently at Anfield.
Especially as the players’ former coach Jose Gomes, who worked with the forward at Almeira, thinks that Nunez will thrive under Klopp. He told Record: “He is an athlete of 1.90 metres and with tremendous speed. The speed he has allows the team where he plays to reach the opposing goal very easily.
“Klopp likes to play looking for spaces in the back of the opposing defensive lines, which means that we can say that Darwin will feel like a fish in water, because speed and quick attack are characteristics that he favours.” It remains to be seen whether Liverpool press on with the £85m move.