Man City ‘confident’ over South American striker too good for Barcelona

Date published: Sunday 3rd October 2021 9:59 - Neil Foster

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Manchester City are hoping to use their connections to lure Benfica striker Darwin Nunez to the club, according to a report.

The 22-year-old is currently setting the Portuguese Primeira Liga on fire, with four goals from five appearances this term. And he has also bagged twice in the Champions League, with a brace as the Eagles beat Barcelona 3-0 on Wednesday evening. Unsurprisingly, many clubs have taken note.

But it is not the first time the Uruguay international has been on the Citizens’ radar. He was linked with a move to the Etihad last February by Don Balon as Pep Guardiola eyed a replacement for Sergio Aguero.

However, the Premier League champions opted not to move and secured a big-money deal for Jack Grealish instead. They are not the only club mentioned in connection with the talented youngster.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all said to be keen, according to The Daily Star. And back in October last year a report suggested then Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had his eyes on the starlet.

Nunez remained at Estadio da Luz, however, and Benfica are reaping the rewards. The clamour over the young hitman prompted Benfica boss Jorge Jesus to comment last summer.

And it appears he is resigned to losing the former Almeria star – but for the right price.

“He was Benfica’s most expensive purchase, and when there is no pandemic, he will be the most expensive sale. He will be a world-class player,” he said.

“We must not forget that he is a kid, he is 21 years old, there is a lot about the game that he does not know yet. He will learn with me and Benfica.


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“Unfortunately for me, maybe I will lose him in a short time.”

City in pole position for Nunez

City have done business with Benfica in recent years, with deals for Brazilian keeper Ederson and Portuguese central defender Ruben Dias. The clubs are said to have an excellent relationship and that is why the north-west giants rate their chances.

Nunez has a buy-out clause of £125m but City are hopeful they can reduce that significantly to get a deal over the line. The report suggests a figure close to £70m is on the City hierarchy’s minds.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola looking dejected

Whether or not Benfica are willing to play ball at that price only time will tell. But, after missing out on Harry Kane, Guardiola will want to make sure he gets his man this time around.

READ MORE: Pep ‘warned’ Euro giant about Man City player before transfer went ahead

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