Newcastle United are ready to raise their offer for Darwin Nunez, it is claimed – but other reports indicate Benfica could lift their asking price in turn.
Darwin Nunez is one of the most highly sought-after strikers outside Europe’s so-called top five leagues. He has been in fine form in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season, with 18 goals from 18 games.
At the age of 22, he looks destined for a career at the top level. Benfica therefore know they have a big chance to cash in for a huge sum.
Newcastle are the kind of club that could put a tempting offer together, given they now have huge financial backing following their Saudi takeover. They invested in five players in January and will be splashing the cash again in the summer.
Whether they stay in the Premier League or not will have an impact on who they can pursue. They have managed to climb out of the drop zone, so optimism is growing.
According to Record, staying in the top flight gives them a decent chance of becoming more appealing for Nunez. They failed in a January attempt to sign him.
Chris Wood was the only centre-forward they added in their first post-takeover transfer window. The plan was to pair him with a younger forward like Nunez – but that could be more possible in the summer.
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Newcastle’s bid in January reached €50m, but Benfica wanted it topping up to €60m.
Record (via Sport Witness) believe the Magpies are now willing to stump up that extra €10m. However, Correio da Manha have written that Benfica are upping their own demands to €80m for a summer transfer.
Such a sum would make Darwin Nunez the second-most expensive player to leave Benfica. Their current record sale was that of Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid for €127.2m in 2019.
Uruguay international Nunez is under contract at the Estadio da Luz until 2025. He has also been linked with West Ham and Manchester United.
Newcastle to add Darwin Nunez and more to exciting attack?
Darwin Nunez would be Newcastle’s record signing if they got him for the price Benfica are asking for. In more ways than one, he would be an exciting addition.
And further flair could be added to the St James’ Park frontline if Newcastle get their hands on a winger target as well.
Last week, it was reported that Moses Simon is one of the main attacking targets Newcastle will be focusing on in the summer. He is currently playing for FC Nantes in Ligue 1.
Simon played for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in January. He scored and assisted once each, making three starts and one substitute appearance.
Simon has already confirmed Leeds made an approach for him late in the winter transfer window. Reports reveal they remain interested, but now face strong competition from Newcastle.
Nantes are more likely to sell in the summer and OwnGoalNigeria believe they will be asking for £20m. Newcastle can afford that sum, as well as to tempt Simon with wages worth £100,000 per week.
Therefore, they are currently said to be “locked in talks” with Nantes over a transfer for the 26-year-old. He has become their “prime target”.