Newcastle United have reportedly entered the race for the signing of Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, who is on the radars of Barcelona and Manchester City.
According to a report from Portuguese publication Record, as relayed by Sport Witness, Newcastle United are interested in securing the services of SL Benfica attacker Darwin Nunez, who is also a transfer target for Barcelona and Manchester City.
A product of the Penarol youth academy, Nunez left Uruguay to arrive in Spain in 2019, signing for UD Almeria. After enjoying a prolific debut campaign with the Spanish second division outfit, the 22-year-old secured a move to Benfica, where he has continued to impress.
Having produced a tally of 14 goals and 12 assists in his debut season in Portugal, Nunez has started the new campaign strongly as well, already netting eight goals in just 13 matches across all competitions. The Uruguayan forward’s performances have attracted the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City interested in him.
Barcelona’s need for a new forward is pretty much self-explanatory at this point. With Sergio Aguero sidelined for the foreseeable future due to a heart condition and Luuk de Jong not part of manager Xavi Hernandez’s plans, a new centre-forward is the need of the hour for the Catalan giants.
While a stop-gap signing could be made in January to address the issue, for the time being, going after a more accomplished option like Nunez in the summer would make sense. More so because the Uruguayan can play out wide and could provide cover if Ousmane Dembele does not renew his contract.
As for Manchester City, they too are in the market for a new striker, having not replaced Aguero, following his exit to Barcelona. Pep Guardiola has found a way to keep his team ticking without a proper No. 9. But there have been instances when the Cityzens have lacked such a presence at the top, which they will need to resolve if they are to enjoy sustained success in England and achieve European glory.
Nunez, to that end, has emerged as a target for the Premier League champions. Now, the cash-rich Newcastle United have also entered the fray for his signing. The Magpies, following their mega-money takeover last month, are looking to make a big splash in the transfer market. However, that might have to wait until the summer as they will first need to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Considering how overreliant they are on Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson in the attacking department, the Tynesiders could certainly do with adding a player of Nunez’s quality who can score and create in equal measure. Any move, however, will not come cheap as Benfica are demanding that the interested parties pay the 22-year-old’s massive €150 million release clause.