Manchester United are planning to sign a new striker this summer. And Benfica’s Darwin Nunez is on their radar, with the Uruguay international netting 32 times from 37 appearances across all competitions this term. Should he end up moving to Old Trafford, it’s certainly possible he’ll be given the No 9 shirt – especially with Anthony Martial expected to leave.
Manchester United know they need a new striker this summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo could depart, with the Portugal international unlikely to be happy at the prospect of playing in the Europa League or UEFA Conference League next term.
Edinson Cavani is also expected to go, with clubs from South America and La Liga eyeing the veteran on a free transfer.
Mason Greenwood remains unavailable, having not played since January.
And Martial and Marcus Rashford’s futures are also up in the air, with neither forward operating at the peak of their powers this season.
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United have seen players struggle with the No 9 shirt on their backs in recent years, however.
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic impressed with it, and Martial was excellent in the 2019/2020 season, Romelu Lukaku never lived up to expectations.
Before then, Radamel Falcao struck just four times during his only season at the club.
And while Dimitar Berbatov did well for United, he was never quite the transformative signing Sir Alex Ferguson hoped he would be.
Meanwhile, regarding Nunez, Benfica boss Nelson Verissimo recently compared the rising star to Atletico Madrid striker Joao Felix.
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“What do you think? Darwin is an excellent player, he has shown all his quality,” Verissimo said.
“He has helped the team a lot, it is true that the team has also helped him a lot.
“He is a young player, with a lot of potential, it is natural that given what has been his growth throughout this season and also a lot as an outcome of the performance he has had in the Champions League games, it is natural that he arouses the interest of the big European clubs.
“It will be at the end of this season or the following season, depending on what it has shown, it is natural that it will arouse interest from other clubs and naturally there may be the timing in which it goes.
“Now regarding numbers, I hope as a Benfica fan that he will leave for numbers close to those that were João Félix’s numbers (a record €126million fee).
“Now it’s not for me to enter numbers on that question.
“In what is my day to day with the player, in what he has given to us to observe in training and in the game.”
United aren’t the only team being linked with Nunez as the summer transfer window nears.
Chelsea are also in the mix, though the uncertainty over their ownership may complicate matters.
And Newcastle can’t be ruled out either now they’re one of the richest clubs in world football.