Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd transfer latest: Giant offer for Darwin Nunez is tabled as Erik ten Hag dangles unwanted midfielder as bait

Darwin Nunez, Benfica striker, celebrates a goal v Porto at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon

Manchester United are upping the ante in the pursuit of Darwin Nunez, with reports in Portugal claiming the Red Devils have tabled a massive offer for the striker, with the deal including the option to sign a player not in Erik ten Hag’s plans.

Ten Hag has a massive job on his hands at Old Trafford. He has accepted the mission of closing the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool – and has an initial three-year deal to make his impact felt. His time in charge has begun with the confirmation about a number of free-transfer exits.

And with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all departing, as many as nine other stars could yet also leave.

One of Ten Hag’s main aims will be to address United’s lack of potency in front of goal. While questions have been raised about Cristiano Ronaldo, he was comfortably their top scorer on 24 goals.

Behind him, Bruno Fernandes was the only other United star to break double figures. And behind them, their supporting cast all failed to meet expectations as United laboured to a sixth-placed finish.

Having seen City show their intentions by wrapping up a quick-fire deal for Erling Haaland, the pressure is on United to deliver.

And with top quality strikers seemingly in short supply, United are pondering their next move very carefully.

However, it seems that Benfica hot-shot Nunez is the man Ten Hag wants to lead their bright new era.

The Uruguayan banged in 34 goals, weighing in with four assists this season to ramp up his reputation.

And with some of Europe’s big hitters on his trail, United look like they have stolen a march.

Unwanted star included as makeweight in Darwin Nunez deal

Nunez has reportedly decided that he 100% will move to the Premier League this summer. And that appears to be all the encouragement United need with a big bid for his services now planned.

To that end, Portuguese newspaper Correio de Manha claims United have made their first official move for the striker.

They report that United are offering Benfica a massive £64m up front with a further £17m made up in bonuses. That would take the total package to a huge £81m – a bid United believe Benfica would struggle to reject.

That kind of cash would significantly reduce United’s ability to strengthen the rest of their squad this summer. Funds are expected to be a little tighter at Old Trafford in the wake of their Champions League miss.

And while Ten Hag is likely to focus on quality over quantity, he is also still looking to sign a new midfielder too.

Manchester United close to signing Darwin Nunez???

Manchester United close to signing Darwin Nunez???

Manchester United are reportedly close to signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica according to sources

However, in an effort to reduce their outlay for Darwin Nunez, Correio de Manha claims Manchester United have offered Andreas Perreira as bait.

The Brazilian midfielder is not part of Ten Hag’s long-term plans. Indeed, Perreira has spent the last two seasons on loan with Flamengo. He was expected to make a permanent move to the Rio de Janiero club, only to see them back out of the deal.

United value Perreira at just £8.5m  – and the report believes his signing will interest Benfica.

Man Utd ready to tread familiar path

And should Nunez sign, he will become the latest big-name star to ditch Portugal for Old Trafford.

Indeed, United have raided their Primeira Liga on multiple occasions over the years. Fernandes, Diogo Dalot, Alex Telles and Victor Lindelof are four current stars who all made the move in recent years.

They also, of course, famously signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon as a teenager back in 2003. Nani, meanwhile, was another to sign; the winger too enjoying moderate success.

And should the bid for Nunez be accepted, United will hope the Uruguayan follows in the success of their most successful imports from Portugal.

Paul Pogba, meanwhile, appears closer to a move to Juventus with Wojciech Szczesny outlining what he would bring to their side.