Benfica have reached an agreement with Liverpool for the transfer of the Uruguyan forward Darwin Nunez for an initial fee of 75 million euros, with the figure rising to 100 million euros with add-ons, the Portuguese club announced on Monday.
A Benfica statement said: “The agreement provides for the payment of a variable remuneration, so the global amount of the sale could reach the amount of 100 million euros.
“The aforementioned agreement is dependent on the signing of the player’s sports employment contract with Liverpool FC.”
Nunez signed for Benfica in 2020 from Spanish second-tier side Almeria for around 24 million euros and scored 45 goals in 85 games, 61 of those starts, for the Primeira Liga club in all competitions. The club also notified that finalising the deal will now depend on the agreement of personal terms between Nunez, his representatives and Liverpool.
A lethal striker
Jurgen Klopp will be delighted to have such a gem in his hands for years to come. The 22-year-old enjoyed a prolific 2021-22 season, finding the net 34 times in 41 games in all competitions.
He is the most expensive signing in Portuguese football history. In his second season, he won the Bola de Prata for top scorer in the Primeira Liga with 26 goals in 28 games.
He began his career at Uruguayan side Penarol before moving to Spanish second-division side Almeria in 2019, where he scored 16 goals in 32 games. Almeria will receive 20% of the profit from Nunez’s transfer.
After representing Uruguay at various youth levels, Nunez was called up to the full international side for the first time in October 2019. He scored on his international debut against Peru.
Not a replacement for Mane
Nunez predominantly plays as a central striker, meaning he is unlikely to be signed as a direct replacement for Sadio Mane. The Senegal international is understood to be ready to leave Anfield, with Bayern Munich his most likely destination.
Nunez, a tall and technically gifted striker, will offer something new to the attack of Liverpool.
Nunez is a right-footed player. He possesses an athletic frame, and excellent acceleration and sprinting speed is the defining facet of his athletic skill set, with his explosive change of pace being capable of creating immediate separation. He also has good awareness. He scans space and makes decisions when moving relative to the ball, space, teammates and opponents.
We may also see a new trio in the coming seasons. A trio of Salah, Nunez and Diaz will be a treat for the Kopites in the upcoming seasons.