Barcelona will reportedly have to shell out a massive sum of €80 million to sign Darwin Nunez from SL Benfica in the summer transfer window.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are looking at SL Benfica’s Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez as an alternative for priority target Erling Haaland. But the Catalans will have to shell out a sum of €80 million to land the 22-year-old.
Nunez moved to Europe in 2019 when he signed for Spanish second division side UD Almeria from Penarol in his homeland. He enjoyed a fine debut campaign in Spain, prompting Benfica to take a punt on him in 2020. The Portuguese giants signed him up in a deal worth around €20 million, and it has proven to be a great investment for the club.
After a decent start to life at Benfica, Darwin Nunez has taken his game up a notch in the current season, bagging 26 goals and two assists in 33 matches across all competitions. The South American striker has scored four times in the UEFA Champions League this season, twice in the group stage game against Barcelona, who have been left enchanted by his performances.
Barcelona are on the lookout for a new top-quality goalscorer ahead of the summer. While they signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres in January, the Catalans will likely part ways with Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay in the summer, while Luuk de Jong’s loan deal will also run out at the end of the season.
So, it would bode well for Barcelona to bring in another new forward who can act as the frontline option, with the ageing Aubameyang operating in a more backup capacity. Erling Haaland has been their top target, but the Blaugrana are seemingly out of the race for the 21-year-old Norwegian international.
It has led to Xavi Hernandez’s side looking at other alternatives in the market to replenish their frontline. And, Nunez has emerged as a potential Plan B for Barcelona. The Blaugrana got a good look at him during their group stage clashes against Benfica in the Champions League earlier this season.
Furthermore, club advisor Jordi Cruyff watched Nunez in action for the Portuguese outfit against Ajax in the Round of 16 tie earlier this week. The Uruguayan international scored the only goal of the game to fire Benfica into the quarter-finals. It has further convinced Barcelona to attempt to sign him this year after failing to lure him from Almeria back in 2020.
However, Benfica have slapped a valuation of €80 million on Nunez, which Barcelona are reluctant to pay. The report adds that the La Liga giants will not offer more than €50 million for the 22-year-old, complicating matters in their pursuit of the striker. So, it will be interesting to see if Barcelona negotiate a lower fee with Benfica or look at other options such as Lautaro Martinez.