Liverpool are on the brink of completing the Darwin Nunez transfer for a club-record fee after a Benfica statement through the night issued confirmation of an agreement.
The Reds have locked on to the Uruguayan as their prime summer target after it emerged the Portuguese side were willing to sell. Nunez set pulses racing through the 2021/22 season, scoring 34 goals in 41 appearances. That total included two goals against Liverpool in the Champions League.
And it seems Nunez did enough to impress Jurgen Klopp, with the 22-year-old now likely to form part of a new-look Reds attack.
After days of negotiating, claims and counter-claims that at one point threatened to see Manchester United derail the deal, it is Liverpool who are now close.
Indeed, Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward flew out to Portugal on Saturday. And an agreement was struck in the early hours of Monday morning.
And with transfer guru Fabrizio Romano giving the deal the ‘Here We Go’ treatment, Nunez should sign for the Reds in the coming days.
Now the Portuguese giants have revealed a transfer fee worth an initial £64m (€75m) has been been struck. That figure, however, will rise to £85.3m (€100m) with add-ons and bonuses.
That makes the transfer record for Liverpool, eclipsing the £76.1m paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018. It does fall short of Benfica’s record sale, however. That honours falls on the £113m that Atletico Madrid paid for Joao Felix in summer 2019.
Darwin Nunez transfer statement
Nonetheless, Nunez will undergo a medical with Liverpool later on Monday and finalise an agreement on personal terms. The player will sign a six-year deal through to 2028.
In a statement, Benfica confirmed the sale of Nunez has been agreed.
“In the early morning hours of this Monday (0:44 am), Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD informed the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) that it had reached an agreement with Liverpool FC for the sale of all rights to the player Darwin Nunez, for the amount of €75m,” read an official Benfica statement.
“To the CMVM, Benfica’s SAD also informed that the agreement provides for the payment of a variable remuneration. So the global amount of the sale could reach the amount of €100m. It is further informed that the aforementioned agreement is dependent on the signing of the player’s sports employment contract with Liverpool FC.”
Sadio Mane departure closing in
His signing will now allow Sadio Mane to finalise his move to Bayern Munich.
The German giants have fallen short with their opening two bids, the second of which causing Liverpool to react with laughter.
And with their £25m approach failing, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic suggests they are also looking at alternatives.
However, the two clubs are expected to reach some sort of compromise in the coming days.
Liverpool are reportedly holding out for £40m, though should soon meet somewhere in the middle.
The 30-year-old will depart Anfield a hero, having formed part of their best side in a generation.
A Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup winner, Mane will likely sign a three-year deal at Bayern.
And we believe the decision to move the 30-year-old on is a shrewd one.
Liverpool bid £85m for Darwin Nunez from Benfica
Liverpool have bid £85 for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez who wants to play for Jurgen Klopp
He’s been an exceptional player for the Reds over the last six seasons and will be much missed. But with a year left on his deal, Liverpool were left with little choice but to move him on. That became more acute once Mane made clear his exit wishes.
And from Liverpool’s perspective, they will now replace him with a man eight years younger.
Granted, there are no gurantees that Nunez will be a success at Anfield. However, with Mohamed Salah on one flank and Luis Diaz on the other, Nunez has every chance of succeeding. As such, Nunez will play a leading role in Liverpool’s continuing push for trophy success.
Liverpool are also looking to generate a large chunk of Nunez’s fee back too, with Takumi Minamino the first of five likely sales.