Liverpool have reached an agreement for the transfer of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez in a deal worth up to €100m​​​​​​​ (£85m).

The Portuguese club, who announced the deal in the early hours of Monday morning, say Liverpool will pay an initial €75m (£64m), with add-ons amounting to €25m included in the deal.

The transfer is subject to the 22-year-old Uruguay international agreeing personal terms with Liverpool and completing a medical.

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Nunez, who was also of interest to Manchester United, wants to move to Liverpool and is ready to sign a five-year contract.

Liverpool’s director of football, Julian Ward, was in Portugal to get the transfer over the line as he negotiated the structure of the deal.

Nunez scored 34 times for Benfica last season in all competitions, including goals in both legs of the club’s Champions League quarter-final defeat to Liverpool in April.

Liverpool were not prepared to enter a bidding war for their number one transfer target, despite doubts over the futures of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and moved quickly to beat their rivals to the signing.

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Mane is wanted by German champions Bayern Munich after the Senegal forward refused to commit to Liverpool beyond next season.

Image:
Nunez scored in both legs of Benfica's Champions League quarter final with Liverpool

Salah also has one year left on his Liverpool contract but announced before last month’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid that he will be staying on Merseyside for at least one more season.

The view from Portugal: how good is Darwin Nunez?

Portuguese football expert Pedro Sepulveda speaking on Sky Sports News:

“Darwin Nunez was one of the best players this season in the Portuguese league by far. The other one was Luis Diaz who moved to Liverpool in January and that made Nunez the absolute best player.

“Benfica finished the season in third place and failed to get a direct spot in the Champions League but in 41 games, Nunez scored 34 goals and registered four assists – so you’re talking about one of the best strikers.

“He’s a ‘modern football striker’ – like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe – strikers who don’t just focus on scoring goals. They focus on playing for the team and making the whole team play well. That’s why we’re talking about €100m.

“The biggest defect – or the less good point – about Nunez is his psychological game. In the 2020/21 season, he was not scoring many goals. He played 44 matches and only scored 14. He was criticised by the fans a little bit and the first thing he did was start suspending his social media, blocking people and not reading the comments. This proves he doesn’t deal well with critics when things start not going well. And in England, the price tag is the first thing people will talk about when he doesn’t start scoring goals.

“When you talk about a player like Darwin Nunez, you think about a typical number nine that plays inside the penalty area. But he can easily play out wide to break spaces for other players in the central areas if teams need him. It’s a very good deal for Liverpool, who already used the Portuguese league with Luis Diaz in a massive transfer for Liverpool which the winger completely deserved.

“In Jurgen Klopp’s hands, Darwin can be of the top strikers in the world. Nowadays, he’s not one of the top strikers because he doesn’t play in the top five leagues. We have to see how he develops in the Premier League, which is one of the best leagues in the world.”

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Sourse: skysports.com

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