Manchester United are battling Arsenal for Benfica star Darwin Nunez – and may just have the edge in the race for the striker.
Both clubs are losing two forwards each this summer. The Red Devils are set to see veteran pair Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo depart the club with the former coming to the end of his one-year deal and the latter not in new boss Erik ten Hag's plans. Gunners hitmen Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are also coming to the end of their respective contracts.
Nunez is a target for both clubs, having performed excellently in this season's Champions League with goals against the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax. But as the pair compete for his signature, United could well have the upper hand – thanks to a recommendation.
According to 90 min (opens in new tab), Cavani has already had a conversation with Nunez, advising him to come to Old Trafford this summer. The former PSG and Napoli forward is approaching the end of his second year at the 20-time title winners, having joined on a free transfer in 2020.
Ten Hag, set to be appointed any day now as the new permanent manager of the club, has favoured a traditional No.9 recently at Ajax, choosing Sebastien Haller over Dusan Tadic for the Amsterdammers. This might well give some indication as to what kind of forward United look to bring in, with Christopher Nkunku also linked.
A physical, strong athlete with the ability to generate power behind his shots, Nunez thrives as a lone striker for Benfica but has very little experience outside of Portuguese football. At current, however, he has 24 goals in as many league appearances this season – and bowed out of the Champions League with six goals in 10 games.
The 22-year-old is valued at around £36m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
More Manchester United stories
There are big rumours about a busy summer at Old Trafford: Ten Hag apparently wants to bring three Ajax stars with him to the Premier League, Youri Tielemans is a potential arrival in midfield and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also on the radar.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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