Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Arsenal overtaken by Man Utd and Chelsea as Benfica lay out Darwin Nunez demand

Benfica striker Darwin Nunez tussling with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Man Utd and Chelsea are among a trio of frontrunners chasing a Darwin Nunez transfer this summer, and a report has revealed how a deal with Benfica can be made.

The Uruguayan, 22, is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand strikers in all of Europe. The Benfica ace has has bagged 31 goals in just 36 matches across all competitions this season. That also includes five in nine in the Champions League.

His latest in that competition came against Liverpool last week. Nunez showed great composure and a poacher’s instinct when punishing Ibrahima Konate’s miscontrol inside his own area.

Arsenal had drawn links with their need to sign at least one new striker this summer evident. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wasn’t replaced in January, while Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette will be free agents at season’s end.

However, according to the Athletic, it is Man Utd and Chelsea that are in fact leading the way from England. Joining them at the front of the queue is PSG.

The Ligue 1 powerhouse look on course to lose Kylian Mbappe this summer. The French superstar is the subject of intense speculation linking him with a blockbuster free agent move to Real Madrid.

Nunez could fill the void in Paris, though United and Chelsea won’t go down without a fight.

Benfica boss Nélson Veríssimo recently claimed his side would attempt to generate a similar level of fee as the one they received for Joao Felix in 2019.

Felix earned Benfica a whopping £113m when sold to Atletico Madrid.

Key to Darwin Nunez deal revealed

But with Nunez already three years older than Felix was at that stage and the transfer market receding amid the Covid pandemic, it’s not anticipated a sum that high will be required.

The article suggests Benfica will be open to a sale this summer anyway and hints at what could twist their arm.

It’s noted Benfica do not want Nunez’s future to turn into a lengthy transfer saga that spans the entire summer.

Instead, if they are going to sell, they want a deal wrapped up quickly so they can sign a suitable replacement in good time.

As such, and with interest widespread, it may be a case of who acts first wins in the race for Darwin Nunez.