Premier League • England

Frustrated Rio Ferdinand lauds new Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez, referencing Virgil van Dijk claim

Darwin Nunez celebrating for Benfica

Rio Ferdinand is seemingly frustrated Manchester United didn’t sign Darwin Nunez ahead of Liverpool, saying he is ‘a top signing for Liverpool, unfortunately’.

Manchester United were reportedly looking at Nunez as a potential long-term successor to Cristiano Ronaldo up front. But it was Liverpool who won the race for the striker, agreeing a deal with Benfica on Monday.

The transfer went through the following day, with Nunez set to become their record signing.

The Reds have forked out an initial £64million to bring the 22-year-old to the Premier League. But add-ons could take it to £85.3m, surpassing the £75m deal for Virgil van Dijk.

Nunez will wear the number 27 shirt at Anfield and has penned a long-term contract with the Reds, which is thought to last six years.

Nunez came up against Liverpool and Van Dijk in last season’s Champions League quarter-final. He scored in both legs but Liverpool went through with a 6-4 aggregate victory.

Ahead of the Champions League final, which Liverpool lost to Real Madrid, Van Dijk spoke about Nunez and made a comparison with Erling Haaland.

He said: “The name of Haaland, and also Darwin, he’s a bit similar, very direct, quick, tall, strong, and it’s quite difficult to play against those guys.”

Rio Ferdinand talks Darwin Nunez arrival

Ferdinand has now given his opinion on the new arrival on Merseyside, in which he referred to Van Dijk’s praise. The pundit tweeted: “Watched a lot of this guy in the Champions League last season. Virgil van Dijk gave a glowing reference in a recent interview.

“Looks like a top signing for Liverpool, unfortunately.”

Ferdinand will certainly be disappointed United didn’t capture Nunez. He could score against United next season and ultimately take Jurgen Klopp’s side even further away from the Red Devils.

Darwin Nunez details revealed

Liverpool have a agreed a deal for Benfica forward Darwin Nunez in a deal worth up to £85 million.

Nunez’s capture became necessary for Liverpool once Sadio Mane chose to leave. The 30-year-old appears to want a new challenge after six years at Anfield.

And Bayern have now agreed a deal worth £35.1m to sign Mane, as per BBC Sport. It will be a big blow, but Nunez should help to replace some of his goals.

Nunez is still young and needs to be given time to adapt to the Premier League. However, he should be able to hit 20 goals in all competitions next season, after registering 34 for Benfica last term.

Meanwhile, Arsenal look set to rival Liverpool for the signing of a Real Madrid wide man.