Manchester United’s scouts were reportedly in attendance among other spotters to watch €50 million-rated Benfica striker Darwin Nunez in action on Monday.
According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Darwin Nunez is attracting a lot of attention from across the continent following his excellent performances for Benfica this season. The Uruguayan’s goalscoring exploits have helped him draw comparisons to compatriot Edinson Cavani, and Manchester United are among a host of major clubs to have sent scouts to keep tabs on his progress this season.
The Red Devils were on hand to see Nunez score a goal against Tondela as his team defeated them 3-1 over the weekend. The landmark goal sent him to the top of the scoring charts for the 2021/22 Primeira Liga season, with him averaging an impressive 0.94 goals per game.
Benfica signed Nunez from Almeria in a €24 million deal in 2020 after he struck 16 goals in 32 Segunda Division games. The gamble has paid off extremely well, with the 22-year-old establishing himself as one of the finest young forwards in Portuguese football, scoring 22 goals and providing 12 assists in 46 Primeira Liga games across two seasons.
The highly-rated forward has proven to be a consistent goal-getter for Benfica this term and has been in red-hot scoring form, notching up 21 goals in 26 outings across all competitions, including vital goals in eye-catching displays against both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
West Ham were hoping to land Nunez, regarded as one of the hottest striking prospects in Europe, on the winter transfer deadline day but did not match his valuation. While the Hammers still retain their interest, they will now face stiff competition for the Uruguayan hitman’s signatures this summer, with Manchester United, among other prominent European sides, tracking his progress.
With Edinson Cavani’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo well into the twilight years of his glorious career, the Red Devils could face a genuine striker crisis come this summer.
Anthony Martial’s future is up in the air after being loaned out to Sevilla last month. Marcus Rashford has also struggled to find his stride this season, and the club have suspended Mason Greenwood until further notice. Jesse Lingard is also set to become a free agent, indicating the club’s desperate need for attacking reinforcements.
To that end, Nunez could be just the perfect long-term fix to Manchester United’s problems. He is a tenacious presser, plays with real physicality and has the technical ability to be a ruthless finisher in front of the goal.
Apart from Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and AC Milan have also been credited with an interest in Nunez. The Uruguayan attacker is tied to the Lisbon outfit until 2025, with Benfica likely to demand at least €50 million for their star man. With a transfer war expected in the summer, seeing who will get their hands on the Uruguayan international will be interesting.