Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they can secure the signing of Darwin Nunez this summer, with the striker’s personal advisors seemingly giving the prospective deal a big push forwards.
The Red Devils are preparing for what is likely to be their busiest summer window in some time. With the club failing to perform to expectations, sweeping changes are likely to be made to their squad.
And with Erik ten Hag taking charge in a matter of weeks, plans are already being put in place.
The Dutchman needs to improve all areas of his side. To that end, a report recently suggested that only one position in their squad was safe with up to 12 players likely to depart.
Improvements in defence, midfield and attack are required, though just how much United have to spend is open to debate.
Either way, Ten Hag certainly has his work cut out. The club has leaked a club-record Premier League high of 56 goals this season, meaning defensive improvements are a must.
Ten Hag will also want to improve his midfield. To that end, the Red Devils have been boosted in their pursuit for Frenkie de Jong following a big decision at Barcelona.
But it’s in attack where perhaps the most wholesale changes will be made. The club are expecting to move on Anthony Martial this summer, while Edinson Cavani is also departing on a free transfer.
Doubts also remain over Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford. Even if Ronaldo is kept on, at the age of 37 questions remain over how long he has left at the top.
Man Utd given Darwin Nunez advantage
As such, it’s little wonder to see them linked with Benfica hot-shot Nunez. The Uruguayan has been in electric form this season, notching 34 goals in all competitions.
And reports on Monday claimed United were ready to go all out to bring the striker to Old Trafford.
Now those hopes have been handed a signficant lift.
As per the Daily Mirror, they claim Nunez’s personal advisors feel a move to the Premier League, and in particular Manchester United, would be perfect.
The likes of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are also reportedly keen. However, the report claims his representatives believe United are the club best suited for the striker.
Furthermore, there remains doubt over whether either of Bayern or Atleti would be able to afford Benfica’s asking price. His contract at the Estadio da Luz contains a huge £130m exit clause.
However, they are seemingly willing to do business this summer for £70m. But even that looks too high for two of his three suitors.
That’s a fee, however, United would be able to meet. And with his agents seemingly welcoming a switch to United, Ten Hag looks to have cleared another big hurdle in his pursuit of the striker.
United need a reaction – and Nunez would be perfect answer
With Manchester City on Tuesday confirming an agreement to sign Erling Haaland, Manchester United are under more pressure than ever to have a good summer.
Indeed, the capture of Haaland – one of the world’s elite strikers – will only serve to make City more formidable.
And with top-end strikers at a premium, United could do far worse than settle on Darwin Nunez.
Erik ten Hag wants Darwin Nunez at Old Trafford
Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly counting on Benfica star Darwin Nunez to lead the club’s attack next season.
At just 22 years of age, he’s the perfect age and someone who can grow and develop his game. Furthermore, his two goals against Liverpool in the Champions League proves he can do it against English sides.
And while £70m would be a sizeable chunk of United’s summer budget, Ten Hag may be best focusing on quality rather than quantity in his first summer in charge.