Saturday, June 25

Darwin Nunez: Benfica standing firm on valuation in Liverpool talks

Benfica are standing firm over their valuation of Liverpool target Darwin Nunez as the two clubs attempt to come to an agreement for the Uruguayan striker, 90min understands.

Nunez has become the hottest property on the transfer market this summer after the respective futures of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe were quickly resolved last month.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a breakout season with Benfica in 2021/22, scoring 34 goals in all competitions – including 26 in 28 Primeira Liga games in Portugal. His rise has been rapid, having been playing with Almeria in Spain’s second tier only two years ago.

Two of Nunez’s six Champions League goals during the season actually came home and away against Liverpool in the competition’s quarter-finals.

90min has already revealed that Liverpool believe they have won the race for the forward’s signature, beating rivals Manchester United to the punch. The opportunity to stay in the Champions League and compete for the Premier League title were important factors in his decision making.

Personal terms at Liverpool have already been agreed with Nunez’s agents, 90min understands. The only sticking points remains the exact final transfer fee.

Benfica are seeking an initial €80m plus €20m in add-ons, making the overall deal worth €100m if all the extra payments are triggered. But Liverpool have been trying to negotiate the starting fee down to €70m. 90min understands Benfica are sticking to their guns, which could result in the Reds ultimately smashing their existing transfer record to get a deal over the line.

On the latest edition of Talking Transfers, Harry Symeou hosts as 90min’s transfer correspondent Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth who discuss the futures of Bukayo Saka, Raphael Leao, Romelu Lukaku, Kalvin Phillips, Youri Tielemans, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and more! 

The club’s current high bar in the transfer market remains the £75m paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018. A deal worth €100m (£85m) for Nunez would add another £10m to the record. But while a final agreement is not yet in place, both clubs remain confident a deal will happen.

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The last Benfica player to sign for Liverpool was Lazar Markovic in 2014, with the £20m Serbian winger making only 19 Premier League appearances before his eventual release in 2019. However, the Reds have been much more successful when dipping into the Portuguese market more recently after January’s capture of Colombian forward Luis Diaz from Porto.

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