Liverpool were prepared to offload Darwin Nunez as part of a swap deal which would have seen Joao Felix arrive at Anfield this summer, according to a sensational report.
Atletico Madrid smashed their transfer record in July 2019 by spending a whopping €126million (then £113m) to sign Felix from Benfica. The transfer was made even more incredible by the fact Felix was only 19 years old at the time.
Despite his huge potential, the attacker has never truly lived up to expectations in the Spanish capital. As a result, he was loaned out to Chelsea in the second half of last season.
Felix put in some exciting performances for Chelsea, but he did not exactly set the Premier League alight as he only managed four goals in 20 Blues appearances.
Felix, now 23, raised eyebrows in July by revealing it is his ‘dream’ to play for Atleti’s La Liga rivals Barcelona. And he has now joined Xavi’s side on a season-long loan, which does not include the option to buy.
According to a major report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Felix had several other transfer options prior to signing for Barca.
They included Aston Villa, with Unai Emery known to be a big fan of the Portuguese, and Al Hilal, who could have paid him a colossal wage.
Incredibly, Mundo Deportivo claim Liverpool were also in the race for Felix. They state that the Reds were even ready to let Nunez go in a swap deal for Felix.
Darwin Nunez, Joao Felix swap claim emerges
However, the transfer did not get off the ground as Felix told Liverpool he only wanted to link up with Barca.
It would have been a huge shock if Liverpool had gone through with such a deal. After all, Jurgen Klopp’s side broke their transfer record by spending an initial £64m, plus £21m in add-ons, to sign Nunez from Benfica last summer.
While the Uruguay international did not have the best debut campaign on Merseyside, he did still manage 15 goals in 42 games across all competitions.
And Nunez looks set for a much better season in 2023-24. He netted a brilliant brace against Newcastle United on August 27 to hand Liverpool a 2-1 victory, despite them going down to 10 men, while he also picked up an assist during the 3-0 win over Aston Villa last time out.
If Nunez ends up having a sensational season in front of goal, then Liverpool chiefs will be glad that their rumoured swap deal for Felix came to nothing.