Liverpool and Benfica remain £8m apart in a deal for the much sought-after Darwin Nunez as discussions continue.
The forward enjoyed a breakout season in Portugal, scoring more than 30 times, including one at Anfield, and is now very much on the radar of Europe’s elite. The Reds are in pole position to sign the Uruguayan but the initial cost is holding up any potential deal.
Liverpool want to pay £60m upfront for the player whilst his current club want £68m initially with add-ons taking the deal up to £85m – a club record fee – according to The Times. Julian Ward, the new head transfer guru at Anfield, has flown out to Lisbon, as a result, to discuss the financial disparity as they look to get the original fee lowered.
He will be thrashing out a deal with Benfica chiefs Rui Pedro Braz and Rui Costa as he looks to continue Liverpool’s shrewd transfer activity having taken over from Michael Edwards. According to The Guardian, the 22-year-old will pen a five-year contract on Merseyside if a deal can be struck.
Manchester United have also been heavily linked with Nunez as they eye more firepower to support Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. They have been reluctant to get into a bidding war with the Premier League rivals however and the player himself is thought to favour a Liverpool switch.
The Reds are looking to add to a forward line that already boasts the likes of Mo Salah, who was recently named the PFA Player of the Year, and Luis Diaz, who joined from Porto in January. However, they could be about to lose an established star in Sadio Mane.
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The Senegalese forward scored 23 times last term as Liverpool narrowly missed out domestically and in Europe. He’s been at Anfield since 2016 but has just 12 months left on his deal and has shown no desire to extend his stay. It appears more likely that he will move on.
Bayern Munich are keen on the winger but have seen some initial offers knocked back by the Reds, but that is unlikely to be the end of negotiations. Mane joked about leaving Liverpool but later clarified his comments, saying: “I spoke yesterday while joking with a bit of humour and it was everywhere. I think we’ll stop there. Liverpool is a club I respect a lot. The fans adopted me since day one. Regarding the future, we’ll see.”