Newcastle United are reportedly in talks with SL Benfica over a potential move for forward Darwin Nunez in the summer transfer window of 2022.

According to a report from Portuguese publication Mais Futebol, Newcastle United and SL Benfica are involved in negotiations regarding a possible summer transfer for Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez next year.

Nunez spent the formative years of his career with Penarol in his homeland of Uruguay before making the jump to Europe in 2019 when he signed for Almeria. The 22-year-old enjoyed a prolific debut campaign in Spain, prompting Benfica to sign him in the summer transfer window of 2020. 

Upon landing in Portugal, Nunez has continued to impress the onlookers, with the versatile forward particularly in good form in the ongoing campaign, having managed a tally of 11 goals and two assists from only 18 matches across all competitions. The 22-year-old helped Benfica qualify for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, scoring a brace in the win over Barcelona in the group phase.

Nunez’s exploits in Portugal have led to him attracting interest from several clubs across the continent, with Newcastle United also among the admirers of the 22-year-old forward, who can play anywhere across the frontline.

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The interest from Newcastle makes a great deal of sense as well, considering their lack of quality operators in the final third of the pitch beyond Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin. Indeed, the Magpies are over-reliant on their star duo to produce the goods in the attacking third, with the likes of Joelinton, Miguel Almiron and Dwight Gayle nowhere near consistent enough.

As a result, it becomes imperative that Newcastle bolster their attacking unit at the earliest possible. There are expected to be new arrivals in January as they look to survive the threat of relegation from the Premier League. However, Nunez and any other high profile moves would have to wait till the summer transfer window once their status as a top-flight club is confirmed.

Benfica, for their part, are talking with Newcastle over a move, with president Rui Costa holding negotiations with the Magpies’ head of recruitment, Steve Nickson, but with the idea being that Nunez would only be allowed to leave in the summer.

While he has a contract that runs till 2025 and a release clause worth a massive €150 million, the Portuguese giants would be willing to do business for a sum over €50 million. The fee should not pose a problem for the newly cash-rich Newcastle. However, any move would certainly hinge on whether they can avoid getting relegated from the Premier League.

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