Darwin Nunez one of four names on Real Madrid’s shortlist for a new striker

Darwin Nunez
(Image credit: Getty)

Real Madrid (opens in new tab) are preparing for life after Karim Benzema and Darwin Nunez is one of the players they’ve lined up to replace him.

According to Defensa Central (opens in new tab), the Liverpool (opens in new tab) striker is one of four options the Spanish champions are considering to boost their goal threat.

Benzema is currently recovering from a thigh injury that ruled him out of the World Cup and is set to turn 35 later this month.

Although he has been in the best form of his career over the last couple of years, culminating in his first Ballon d’Or, he can’t maintain these levels indefinitely so Real would be wise to plan for the future.

Without Benzema, they lack a true centre-forward, choosing to play Rodrygo or Marco Asensio as a false nine instead.

This uncertainty has prompted the club to explore their options, with four potential targets identified, including Nunez.

The Uruguayan international only joined Liverpool from Benfica (opens in new tab) for a £64million fee in June but has already become a fan favourite at the club.

Volatile and unpredictable, he instinctively makes things happen on the pitch, often for better but sometimes for worse too.

Nunez has scored nine goals in 18 games for Liverpool but also been responsible for some glaring misses and a damaging red card for headbutting Crystal Palace (opens in new tab) defender Joachim Andersen.

He is currently at the World Cup with his country and they need to beat Ghana (opens in new tab) in their final group game to progress to the round of 16.

The three other names on Real’s shortlist are also competing at the tournament – Brazil (opens in new tab) duo Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison, and the Netherlands (opens in new tab)’ Cody Gakpo.

Although often played off the left flank rather than through the middle, Gakpo has been a star performer for the Dutch, scoring three goals in the group stage.

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Sean Cole

Sean Cole is a freelance journalist. He has written for FourFourTwo, BBC Sport and When Saturday Comes among others. A Birmingham City supporter and staunch Nikola Zigic advocate, he once scored a hat-trick at St. Andrew’s (in a half-time game). He also has far too many football shirts and spends far too much time reading the Wikipedia pages of obscure players.