Man Utd are preparing to rival West Ham for the signing of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez as scouts were reportedly in attendance at his match on Monday.
Nunez is Benfica’s talisman despite being just 22 years old. The Uruguay international has been in electric form this campaign, hitting 16 goals in just 17 Primeira Liga matches.
Add to that three Champions League strikes and two in Portugal’s Allianz Cup, and his record stands at an impressive 21 goals in 26 outings.
Benfica know they have a gem on their hands and will only sell for a significant fee. West Ham were hoping to land Nunez on transfer deadline day but did not match his price tag, which sits at £70million.
They are keeping tabs on his situation ahead of the summer but could now face competition from Man Utd, in addition to three major European clubs.
According to The Sun, who cite reports in Portugal, Man Utd scouts were ‘in attendance’ during Benfica’s league game against Tondela earlier this week.
They were joined by officials from Bayern, Dortmund and Milan. And all four club representatives will have been left impressed.
Darwin Nunez scores yet again
Nunez hit a brilliant strike in the 34th minute as Benfica eased to a 3-1 victory away from home. He received the ball out wide on the left flank before cutting inside and sending a venomous effort into the top corner.
That was his 21st goal of the season, making him the top scorer in the Portuguese top flight. He had been in a golden boot race with Luis Diaz before the Colombian’s January switch to Liverpool.
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Nunez is in line to become one of Benfica’s most expensive departures. His potential transfer to either United or West Ham could eclipse the £65m Man City paid for Ruben Dias in September 2020.
However, it is unlikely to surpass Atletico’s £113m deal to sign Joao Felix the previous summer.
High praise for Man Utd youngster
Meanwhile, one pundit claims James Garner has the attributes of a fabled United star and would fit right in following his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.
The central midfielder is proving to be a key figure at Forest during his second stint at the City Ground. He has featured in all but one Championship games so far.
United are reportedly planning to integrate him into the senior setup from next season onwards. And pundit Trevor Sinclair has now given him a glowing reference.
“James Garner’s deliveries remind me of David Beckham’s,” Sinclair told talkSPORT.
“He’s got that dip and that whip and it causes so many problems. The pace on the ball, he’s putting it on a sixpence every time.
“It’s an absolutely phenomenal cross that he’s got in the locker.”