Manchester City have reportedly identified Benfica forward Darwin Nunez as a potential centre-forward signing for the summer window.
According to a report from Fichajes, Manchester City want to bring an end to their search for a centre-forward once and for all. They have listed down three main targets to approach in the summer – Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, and SL Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.
The Uruguayan striker joined the Portuguese side in a €24 million move from UD Almeria in 2020. Nunez, capped eight times by Uruguay, scored 16 goals for the latter in the Spanish second division, which prompted Benfica to move for him.
While Nunez did not hit the ground running per se, he still scored 14 goals across competitions in his first season in Portugal. Five of those goals were scored in the Europa League. The 22-year-old has come into his own in the ongoing season and has already scored 20 league goals and three in the Champions League.
The centre-forward’s scoring streak has alerted Manchester City, who have been on the lookout for a striker for almost a year now. The Cityzens came excruciatingly close to completing the signing of Harry Kane in the summer window last year, but Spurs did not sanction the move. They have not quite struggled after missing out on the England captain, but this is an area they want to improve.
Darwin Núñez during 2021/22 for Benfica:
– 30 appearances
– 1989 minutes played
– 25 goals
– a goal every 79.6 minutes
Great numbers.? pic.twitter.com/ZRlfuWePBO
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) February 28, 2022
Erling Haaland is believed to be on the top of their list. The Borussia Dortmund star is being courted by the biggest European clubs, and City, too, are a part of that band, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Haaland has maintained his goal-scoring form at the Westfalenstadion and has taken his Dortmund tally to 80 goals in 79 matches since joining them in 2020.
The 21-year-old reportedly has a release clause of €75 million in his Dortmund contract which gets activated after the current season. But with a plethora of other clubs interested in the Norwegian, City may have to look elsewhere.
While Kane is a realistic option for them, Nunez will come in much cheaper and at 22 years of age, will give them a long-term solution to the problem. But whether the Uruguayan can live up to the early promise that he has shown at Benfica remains to be seen. For now, though Nunez, who is also on the radars of Arsenal and Manchester United, has found new admirers in Manchester City.