Transfer News: Manchester United receive transfer blow for Benfica ace Darwin Nunez as Paris Saint-Germain open bidding war
According to foreign outlet O Jogo (h/t Express), Paris Saint-Germain have opened the bidding for Benfica ace Darwin Nunez ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, which will come as a major transfer blow to Manchester United.
Nunez has been enjoying a breakout season at the Estadio da Luz, becoming Benfica’s go-to man to supply the goals. He has been a regular in the side and led the attacking line effectively, turning into a big threat for opposition defences.
In spite of his fantastic Primeira Liga form, it is his performances in the Champions League that has seen him earn plaudits this term. Benfica managed to reach the quarterfinals of the competition thanks to the striker’s goals, with Nunez netting against Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool.
United are keen to sign the 22-year-old to replace their ageing attacking duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani next season. Both forwards are on the wrong side of 35 this year, and the club are keeping an eye out for someone to carry on their work in the near future.
PSG preparing massive transfer bid
However, they have suffered a transfer blow in their pursuit of the Uruguayan, as PSG are said to be ‘preparing an offer’ of £102m to secure his signature in the summer. The Ligue 1 giants have registered an interest in the player that is ‘beyond doubt’.
Nunez’s release clause is around £128m, so there is still some catching up to do with regard to valuation. The French club could also face competition from Newcastle United, who have been linked with a move for the striker since the winter transfer window in January.
PSG are looking to put behind their recent Champions League disappointment, and recruit stars that could help them get past their troubles and finally get their hands on the European trophy. This season, they blew a 2-0 lead on aggregate to succumb to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.
They could perhaps see the exit of Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi in the summer, which makes them short on attacking options ahead of the new campaign. Nunez has been eyed as a potential transfer target, given his impressive scoring record in Europe this term.
United are in need of attacking reinforcements as well, with Cavani departing for free at the end of the season when his contract runs out. Further, the lack of Champions League football may also see Ronaldo exit the club, despite only joining last summer.
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A proven goalscorer is required at Old Trafford under new management next season to lead the line for a new-look team, and Nunez fits the bill in this regard. However, the Red Devils may need to break their bank as well as beat off interest from PSG and Newcastle to land him.
One could argue if that would mean hasty decision-making from United given Nunez’s young age and lack of experience when it comes to playing Europe’s top-five leagues. But then again, the South American has shown enough at Benfica and in the UCL to showcase that he has the tools to become one of the best. What happens in the future can’t be predicted but a player of his quality developing under ten Hag would not be a shabby sight for fans to witness.