Benfica striker Darwin Nunez has broken his silence over his future with the Portuguese top-flight club as reports continue to link him to a move to Manchester United.
The 22-year-old Uruguayan striker joined Portuguese club from Spanish club UD Almeria in the summer of 2020 and after struggling to fit in with Portuguese football culture, he found his foot and planted it firmly in the ground.
This season, Nunez has scored 32 goals in 34 total matches for Benfica (24 out of 24 in the league) while playing attacking for the club. He is now one of the most important players in Europe and is attracting interest from across the continent.
One of the clubs interested is Manchester United, who are said to be looking to make a move for him in the summer to make him the first signing of their incoming manager, Eric ten Hag.
Nunez was recently praised by Jurgen Klopp before Benfica and Liverpool drew 3-3 at Anfield in the quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.
Klopp said of Nunez:[He is an] A very handsome boy and a decent player too. Really good, really good, I have to say.
“I knew him before, of course, but he played pretty much ahead of me in these tough fights with Ibo Konate.
“Physically strong, fast, he was calm with the finishing touch when he finished goal. Really good good. If he stays healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.”
The Uruguayan, who has been endorsed as a must-see signing by Uruguay’s senior Edinson Cavani, remains central despite all the news linking him with a move away from Estadio da Luz.
What is a Liverpool coach? [Jurgen Klopp] Nunez told Portuguese broadcaster TVI in a recent interview. “I won’t say anything, I will leave everything for this shirt.
“My job is to keep going like this, to take advantage of this luck that happens to me. Last year I didn’t play at all, but I’m having a great season this year.
“I have to go on like this, and there are also a lot of advantages from my colleagues.”
Nunez is set to cost any club they want to recruit £60m in transfer fees along with salary and agent fees, which could see any operation rise to an estimated £75m.
Benfica’s record signing with the club paid off more than the club’s €24m investment in him, but he still has three years left on his contract.
Elsewhere, United midfielder Fred asked the club’s fans to continue to support them ahead of their planned protest on Saturday.
Man United fans have been talking about their hatred of the club’s current owners, the Glazers, for several seasons now. They are currently planning another protest at Old Trafford and are lobbying for billionaires to sell the club.
United meet Norwich City, bottom club, in the Premier League on the same day, and Fred appealed to remain calm.
The Brazilian, who is one of the bright sparks in a United team that has performed very poorly this season, also asked the fans for forgiveness for the way the season went, and asked for support along the same lines.
“I know the fans wanted more from this season,” Fred said. Manchester United Television. They wanted us to go further in all competitions, the cups and the Champions League.
“We could have gone further, but I am sure the fans will support us all the time, we know they are behind us. We will aim to do our best, so they are always on our side.
We want them by our side, constantly screaming and celebrating every goal. I’m sure they will be with us in the next matches.”