Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd reason for ditching Darwin Nunez transfer emerges, as Ten Hag gets going on alternative forward

Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez

Man Utd reeled back from a Darwin Nunez bidding war for one reason, while Erik ten Hag has ‘genuine interest’ in signing an alternative forward who has already been discussed within the club, per a report.

Liverpool are on the verge of officially confirming their capture of Darwin Nunez. Selling club Benfica have already released a statement confirming the move, with Nunez set to cost Liverpool an initial £64m.

The total cost of the move could rise to around £85m pending add-ons. The nature of those add-ons was one of the final sticking points Liverpool had to resolve and the Times claimed Liverpool made compromises in that regard.

A final fee of £85m would blow Liverpool’s previous transfer record out of the water. Virgil van Dijk is the holder of that record at present when bought for £75m from Southampton.

Manchester United were known to be in the mix for Nunez’s signature. Indeed, the Red Devils were in contact with the Uruguayan’s agent as late as Friday after also identifying Nunez as a stellar transfer option.

However, writing in his column for CaughtOffside, Fabrizio Romano has detailed why Man Utd didn’t make life more difficult for Liverpool.

The transfer guru claimed United thought highly of Nunez, though clearly not to the degree Liverpool do. Indeed, Romano stated United believed Nunez was only worth a £60m fee, far below the £85m Liverpool have committed to.

With Nunez bound for Anfield, United must explore alternatives to bolster their forward line.

Man Utd circling over Antony

Romano provided an update on that front too, claiming interest in Brazilian winger Antony is ‘genuine’.

The 22-year-old plies his trade with Ajax and is thus well known to Ten Hag. Antony is a left-footed right winger and would provide stiff competition for the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho on the flanks.

Antony is reportedly highly appreciated by Ten Hag and has been the subject of internal discussions among United’s decision-makers.

Ajax winger Antony lifting the Eredivisie trophy

Goal Brazil recently claimed Antony’s representatives are in Europe to decide his future in the coming weeks. A move to Old Trafford was claimed to be top of their agenda.

Any move could cost around £50m, though Romano stressed no official bid has been made at present.

United scouts have run the rule over the talented wide man. However, the journalist concluded they are not alone in keeping a close eye on his situation this summer.

Liverpool have full belief in Darwin Nunez

While United may have had their reservations, Liverpool clearly believe they’re landing a bona fide superstar.

Indeed, the Times claimed both Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk played a pivotal part in getting the ball rolling.

The pair both reportedly held direct conversations with Nunez during the Champions League quarter-final clashes between Liverpool and Benfica in April.

Nunez bagged a goal in each leg and Van Dijk was left claiming Nunez was one of the toughest strikers he’s faced.

The Reds rarely get it wrong when going big in the market. Only Naby Keita can be classed as something of a disappointment of those Liverpool have splashed big cash for in the Klopp era.

Whether the Reds have pulled off another masterstroke will become clear on the pitch next season.