Chelsea are reportedly the latest club to register an interest in SL Benfica’s Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez, who is also a target for Manchester City.
According to a report from Portuguese publication Record, Chelsea have entered the race to sign SL Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, who is also on the radars of Manchester City, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, among others.
Nunez came through the youth ranks at Uruguayan outfit Penarol and managed 22 first-team appearances for the club, scoring four goals and setting up one more. The youngster moved to Spain in the summer of 2019, when he signed for Spanish second division side UD Almeria and thrived, bagging a return of 16 goals and 3 assists in 32 games.
This put Nunez on the radars of several top clubs in Europe last year, but it was Benfica that signed him up. And the 22-year-old has repaid the Portuguese giants’ faith in him with impressive performances so far. In 52 games, he has produced a return of 20 goals and 12 assists, with six of those goals coming in just eight games in the 2021/22 season.
That includes a stunning brace against Barcelona last month as Benfica hammered them 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League. This has only served to enhance Nunez’s reputation since, with more and more clubs casting admiring glances towards him. Manchester City are one of the suitors and understandably so, considering that they failed to replace Sergio Aguero this past summer.
Indeed, having lost their all-time leading goalscorer Manchester City were unable to secure a replacement for him, having failed in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur superstar Harry Kane. A move for Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic has since been mooted but it seems like Pep Guardiola & co. are keeping their options open, with Nunez also emerging as a target.
The 22-year-old, who can play as a centre-forward, an auxiliary striker or even on the left, has the potential to be a good fit at the Etihad with his flexibility and all-round abilities. However, they will now have to contend with competition from arch-rivals Chelsea in pursuit of the Uruguayan international.
Chelsea bolstered their frontline this summer with the club-record signing of Romelu Lukaku. However, things just don’t seem to be clicking with Timo Werner, who could be let go of amid widespread interest from Europe. Nunez, then, could be seen as a replacement for the German international, while he can also be used in the wide-attacking midfield slots in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 setup as well.
Apart from the two English bigwigs, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and PSG are also said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old international, who has a massive release clause worth €150 million. It will be interesting to see if any of the clubs do make a move to secure his signing in the future. For now, Nunez seems to be a man in huge demand.