Rumour Has It: Darwin Nunez sets sights on Premier League

By Sports Desk May 31, 2022

Striker Darwin Nunez has reportedly chosen the Premier League as his preferred destination in the upcoming transfer window as he prepares to leave Benfica after a breakout season.

Nunez, who turns 23 in June, burst onto the European stage with an incredible Champions League campaign, netting six goals in 10 matches – a Benfica record – including scoring in both legs against Liverpool in the knockout stages.

He was just as impressive domestically, scoring 26 goals in 28 Primeira Liga games, and now looks to be on the move.

TOP STORY – DARWIN'S THEORIES LEAD HIM TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Football Transfers reports that both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid had weighed up offers for Nunez, but he has his heart set on the Premier League.

Liverpool and Manchester United are reportedly in the strongest position, while Newcastle United and Tottenham are also interested and are said to have met with his representatives.

Nunez is being represented by Eugenio Lopez, who had previously represented fellow Benfica team-mate Nicolas Otamendi in his move from Valencia to Manchester City.

ROUND-UP

United have engaged in talks with Ajax over 20-year-old Netherlands centre-back Jurrien Timber, with the price tag said to be in the range of £43million, according to the Guardian.

– According to Sky Sports, Sadio Mane has not told Liverpool he wants to leave the club as rumours swirl about a potential move to Bayern Munich.

– The Telegraph is reporting City will look to sign Brighton and Hove Albion full-back Marc Cucurella and Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, while according to the Daily Mail, they also have strong interest in Leicester City youngster Ben Nelson.

Paris Saint-Germain have exercised their buy option on loanee Nuno Mendes, securing his services going forward for a €40m fee, per Fabrizio Romano.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal are all interested in making a move for Everton striker Richarlison if he decides to leave Goodison Park.

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  • Klopp backs Nunez to soon get off the mark at Anfield after Rangers frustration Klopp backs Nunez to soon get off the mark at Anfield after Rangers frustration

    Jurgen Klopp says it will only be a matter of time before Darwin Nunez gets his first Liverpool goal at Anfield after the striker failed to find the net against Rangers.

    Liverpool ran out comfortable 2-0 victors against Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side in the Champions League, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah on target.

    Allan McGregor was forced into eight saves to keep the scoreline down, while Nunez had more shots than any Liverpool player in the match – finding the target with four of his attempts.

    The former Benfica striker's six efforts were the most a Liverpool player has had without scoring in a Champions League group stage game since Sadio Mane against Salzburg in December 2019 (also six).

    Despite just the sole strike to Nunez's name in the Reds' first Premier League game of the season at Fulham, Klopp insists the 23-year-old will soon get off the mark at home.

    "I think you can see that. The way the boys moved together up front today was extremely good for just one [training] session," Klopp said of his attackers responding to a change in shape against Rangers.

    "We only had one session, low intensity because we only played recently, so it showed how good a striker he is, getting into these situations. Everybody saw tonight, this will happen."

    Liverpool trail Group A leaders Napoli, who hammered Ajax 6-1 on Tuesday, by three points ahead of a return trip to Rangers next week after visiting Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

  • 'Maradona will have been proud' – Spalletti revels as Napoli hit Ajax for six 'Maradona will have been proud' – Spalletti revels as Napoli hit Ajax for six

    Luciano Spalletti declared "even Diego Maradona will have been proud" after Napoli thrashed Ajax 6-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    Despite falling behind to Mohammed Kudus' ninth-minute opener in Amsterdam, Spalletti's side responded with goals from Giacomo Raspadori, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Piotr Zielinski putting them 3-1 up at the break.

    The visitors' task was made easier after Dusan Tadic's second-half dismissal; Raspadori and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia increasing the advantage, before Giovanni Simeone sealed an emphatic victory.

    Spalletti referenced the late Maradona after Napoli scored six times in a European game for the first time in their history, while Ajax suffered their heaviest defeat in all competitions since November 1964.

    "When you go into a stadium like this, with that roar there, it's not easy to immediately regain the conviction in pressing and recovering after going a goal down," the Napoli coach told reporters. 

    "It could have disturbed us a lot, but the team did the things it had to do; they never let themselves be influenced and won a great match.

    "More than the result, it is beautiful as the performance shows us our qualities; the boys played important football and will benefit because they have all seen it. They played very good plays, even Maradona will have been proud tonight."

    Continuing their perfect start to the competition after making it three wins from three, Napoli are three points clear of Liverpool at the halfway point in Group A, and in the driving seat to reach the knockout stages.

    "With this victory, we have excellent chances [to qualify], but we have to achieve other results," Spalletti added. "What gives context is the quality of the opponents who we produced this performance against, they are a great club."

  • 'We have to be more clinical' - Conte rues missed opportunities in Eintracht draw 'We have to be more clinical' - Conte rues missed opportunities in Eintracht draw

    Antonio Conte has urged Tottenham to be "more clinical" after they were held to a goalless draw by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

    Despite registering 11 shots on goal, Spurs failed to score in successive group games in the competition for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

    Conte's side subsequently missed the chance to move top of Group D, but the Italian praised the intensity and personality demonstrated by his players on the back of a 3-1 North London derby defeat at Arsenal.

    "We played a match with great intensity; we didn't allow them to play their football or press a lot in every area of the pitch," he told BT Sport.

    "At the same time, we have to be more clinical. We created many chances to score. At the end, we are talking about a draw. It is a good draw because it is not easy to play away with the atmosphere. We played a good game but if you don't score, you don't win.

    "There are moments you are more clinical, there are moments like in the game against Arsenal and today; you create chances, but make a mistake with the last pass.

    "It is important to create chances; the game was good for us and we played with a great personality."

    Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was left disappointed by his team-mates' failure to turn positive build-up play into a breakthrough, but the midfielder highlighted the maturity on display as they ended a run of three successive away defeats in the Champions League.

    "We are not 100 per cent happy, I thought we prepared until the penalty area well," Hojbjerg said. "We tried to get in behind them, but the opportunities we had, we didn't use them. It's disappointing. The last bite needed a bit.

    "I thought we took the game well, we tried to be dominant. We tried to find the spaces and tried to overcome the first pressure.

    "If you cannot win, you don't lose the game. The team presented themselves as very mature. We are here, we are competing and every game, we want to win."

    Spurs are second in Group D, two points behind Sporting CP and level on points with Eintracht.

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