Premier League • England

Darwin Nunez: Fabrizio Romano lifts lid on moment that convinced Jurgen Klopp to strike club-record Liverpool deal

Darwin Nunez laments missing a scoring opportunity during the match between the USMNT and Uruguay

Jurgen Klopp’s decision to break the bank and make Darwin Nunez Liverpool’s record signing this summer has been explained by trusted reporter Fabrizio Romano.

The Reds moved early to get their major deal of the summer done, moving rapidly to bring in Nunez from Benfica. For several months the striker looked destined to sign for Manchester United, or possibly Newcastle. However, Liverpool came steaming in late for his signature, with Julian Ward soon wrapping up the deal.

Indeed, Nunez will ultimately end up costing Liverpool a club-record £85m fee if he proves a success. That tops the £76.1m paid to Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in January 2018. And the explosive Uruguayan joins an attack also recently boosted by Mohamed Salah’s decision to stay on Merseyside.

The capture of Nunez also allowed Liverpool to say an emotional goodbye to Sadio Mane. The Senegalese striker departed Anfield for Bayern Munich. And with Luis Diaz also signing in January, the Reds are likely to boast a very different looking forward line in the upcoming season.

The manner in which Liverpool moved for Nunez surprised plenty. And now transfer journalist Romano has spilled the beans on the moment that changed Klopp’s thinking.

The Reds  – knowing Mane would potentially be sold – were beginning to think about replacements. And when Benfica faced Liverpool in the Champions League, that was the moment that Klopp’s mind was made up.

“This Darwin Nunez story started a long time ago,” Romano said on his YouTube channel.

“It’s true that Darwin had a fantastic impact against Liverpool in the Champions League games. And Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of checking players in the real games in the face-to-face games, with his own Liverpool.

“He was really surprised by the impact of this fantastic striker.

“In the Liverpool scouting department, they have been big fans of Darwin Nunez [for a] long time. They consider him the new [Edinson] Cavani.”

Liverpool will expect big things from Darwin Nunez

Nunez scored 34 goals in 41 appearances last season, with two of those coming home and away against Liverpool.

As such, hopes will be high that the striker can hit the ground running in a Reds shirt.

He will have huge shoes to fill in Mane. However, playing through the middle with Diaz and Salah off him, he will not be short of chances.

Liverpool need to solve glaring problem after Nunez deal

Liverpool have bolstered their front line with Darwin Nunez, but midfield is another urgent priority for Jurgen Klopp to sort out.

And with both Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in reserve, Klopp has some of the best attacking options in world football at his disposal.

It’s a been a long time since Liverpool got a big-money signing wrong. And eyebrows will be raised if Nunez does not prove a huge success at Anfield.

Meanwhile, one man who did reject Klopp, Mario Gotze, has spoken of his regret at snubbing a move to Anfield.