Darwin Nunez wants a move to Liverpool and the Benfica striker is the Reds’ number one target this summer.
The Uruguay international scored 34 times for Benfica last season in all competitions, including goals in both matches of the club’s Champions League quarter-final loss to Liverpool in April.
No offer has been made by Jurgen Klopp’s side for Nunez, who is valued by the Portuguese club at €100m (£85.5m).
Manchester United are also admirers of the 22-year-old.
Liverpool, however, are not ready to enter a bidding war for the striker and will not pay the odds for the player.
Nunez is also one of several strikers Liverpool are eyeing this summer, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s futures in doubt, but the Benfica striker is the Reds’ main target in this transfer window.
Mane is wanted by German champions Bayern Munich after the Senegal striker refused to commit to Liverpool beyond next season.
The 30-year-old has one year left on his contract and joked that the majority of Senegalese want him to leave Anfield.
Salah also has a year left on his contract with Liverpool, but announced before the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid last month that he would stay on Merseyside for at least one more season.
The view from Portugal: how good is Darwin Nunez?
Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda speaking on Sky Sports News:
“Darwin Nunez was by far one of the best players in the Portuguese league this season. The other was Luis Diaz who moved to Liverpool in January and that made Nunez the absolute best player.
“Benfica finished the season in third place and failed to secure a direct Champions League spot, but in 41 games Nunez scored 34 goals and registered four assists – so you’re talking about one of the best attackers.
“He’s a ‘modern football striker’ – like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe – strikers who don’t just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making ensure that the whole team plays well, which is why we talk about €100m.
“Nunez’s biggest flaw – or least good point – is his psychological game. In the 2020/21 season, he didn’t score many goals. He played 44 matches and only scored 14 He got a little bashed by the fans and the first thing he did was start suspending his social media, blocking people and not reading comments, that proves that he doesn’t handle Well the critics when things start not going well.And in England Price is the first thing people will talk about when he doesn’t start scoring goals.
“When you talk about a player like Darwin Nunez, you think of a typical number nine who plays inside the penalty area. But he can easily play wide to create space for other players in the central areas if the teams need him.It’s a very good deal for Liverpool, who have already used the Portuguese league with Luis Diaz in a massive transfer for Liverpool that the winger fully deserved.
“In the hands of Jurgen Klopp, Darwin can be one of the best strikers in the world. Nowadays he is not among the best strikers because he is not playing in the top five leagues. We have to see how he develops in Premier League, which is one of the best leagues in the world.”
The Making of Darwin Nunez
Meet Darwin Nunez, the Uruguayan striker ready to leave Benfica – and his former coaches are backing him to play in the Premier League.
Sky Sports screenwriter Adam Bate reaches out to those who have followed his journey from the start to find out more.
What positions are Liverpool targeting this summer?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
Liverpool will look to strengthen their line ahead of this season. The fact that they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how determined they are to add quality up top.
It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who also has a year left on his contract, and Divock Origi having already decided to leave, make reinforcements in this area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only be looking to do business for more than the €30m that have been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to leave.
With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further midfield overhaul could hinge on the future of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain has made 29 appearances in a 63-game season and hasn’t played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino has made just 24 appearances and both could be looking for opportunities more regular in the first team. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.
Strengthening the backline doesn’t appear to be a priority, with Ibrahima Konate giving Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk another option while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11 p.m. on September 1?
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