Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Darwin Nunez to Liverpool: Diogo Jota reacts to speculation with small admission on claims of £85m Reds bid

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

Diogo Jota has offered his thoughts on the prospect of Liverpool potentially sealing the Darwin Nunez transfer in what will reportedly be a club-record deal.

The Uruguayan striker has emerged as one of the world’s most in-demand marksmen on the back of an excellent season for Benfica. He plundered in 32 goals and weighed in with four assists from 40 appearances for the Eagles. That form has, understandably, seen him linked with some of European football’s biggest clubs this summer.

Indeed, Manchester United have been strongly linked as they search for more firepower next season. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (24) and Bruno Fernandes (10) managed double figures for the Red Devils as they laboured to a sixth-placed finish. As such, a deal for Nunez would be much welcomed by new manager Erik ten Hag.

However, reports on Wednesday suggested Liverpool are also now firmly in the mix. They are looking for a new attacker this summer with Sadio Mane nearing a departure. With a year left on his deal, he has reportedly set his sights on a move elsewhere.

And it seems a switch to Bayern Munich is on the cards. That said, the Bundesliga giants will have to significantly improve their comical second bid.

Any deal though for Nunez though will not come cheap. Indeed, reports have speculated that Manchester United are looking to include some of their unwanted stars in the deal, which could cost as much as £85m.

That fee would represent a club-record fee for Liverpool.

Their record outlay currently stands at the £76m spent on Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

‘I can’t say too much’ – Jota offers thoughts on potential deal

And if they land Nunez it will be a new-look Reds attack on display next season with Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Jota all on their books.

Liverpool were given a close-hand look at what Nunez is capable of when scoring past them home and away in the Champions League. And while Benfica could not get the better of the Reds over two legs, it seems Nunez has made a lasting impression on them.

Indeed Jota, who is currently away on international duty with Portugal, was asked about Nunez on Wednesday. And while he did his best not to give anything away, he admits he is aware of the speculation.

“I don’t know, I’m focused on the national team,” Jota told Mais Futebol. “The market will move, I have no idea what the signings could be.”

Pressed for his opinion on Nunez and Jota added: “I had the opportunity to play against him and he’s a good player. But I can’t say anything else at the moment.”

Darwin Nunez transfer would sting Man Utd

Having seen Manchester City lure Erling Haaland to the Etihad, it would really hurt Manchester United were Liverpool to land Nunez.

The Uruguayan is one of European football’s best strikers following his heroics for Benfica.

They are clearly looking to sell too, and he would have been perfect for United and Ten Hag as they look to swell their goals output.

But seeing Liverpool pinch him from under their noses would prove a bitter pill to swall.

United finished a massive 34 points behind Liverpool (35 behind City) in this season’s Premier League. And these type of signings for their rivals will make it all the tougher for United to close that gap.

Liverpool bid £85m for Darwin Nunez from Benfica

Liverpool have bid £85 for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez who wants to play for Jurgen Klopp

For Liverpool, however, it’s clear they mean business and are not about to let them departure of Mane derail them.

Sure, the Senegalese will be a huge miss. But with Diaz arriving in January, and Nunez possibly joining him, the Reds could have a new-look menace to their frontline come the new season.

Another man who does seem destined to depart, Takumi Minamino, has his agent flying in for talks with five clubs in the mix and Liverpool naming a modest price.