Two days ago, Darwin Núñez was a rumoured Liverpool target, a physically dominant 22-year-old striker coming off a breakout season in Portugal who has drawn comparisons to Bayern legend Robert Lewandowski for his size, style, and potential impact.
A day ago, he became the Liverpool target, the story developing rapidly as news broke the Reds were prepared to pay up to €100M—or around £85M in the club’s local currency—to sign a player expected to start from day one for one of the world’s best clubs but who still has room to grow.
Now, a deal is said to be imminent. That’s the story out of Portugal, at least, with local journalists and outlets like O Jogo reporting Benfica were receptive to Liverpool’s opening approach and that negotiations are at an advanced stage.
Personal terms on a five-year deal with the player are said to have been agreed and all that is left is hammering out the finer points of how the transfer fee will be structured, but there appears widespread agreement that the rough shape of it will be Liverpool paying €80M up front plus €20M in add-ons.
After some of the acrimony surrounding the sale of Sadio Mané to Bayern Munich, when Liverpool were incensed by what they saw as unrealistic add-ons, it’s perhaps key to note that Portuguese reports consistently refer to the Reds’ proposed additions as achievable.
Before Liverpool moved to complete a deal for Núñez there had been reports of interest from Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, but the player—who had a goal involvement every 74 minutes last season and impressed in European play—favoured joining the Reds.