Darwin Nunez is at the forefront of transfer thoughts for Europe’s elite clubs this summer, with a host of sides having been impressed with a brilliant season from the Benfica forward.
Nunez has exploded during a superb campaign for the Portuguese side, scoring 25 league goals in just 21 starts for Benfica this season and impressing during the club’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Goals against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool have emphasised the quality the 22-year-old possesses and there is set to be a queue of clubs interesting in prising him from Lisbon this summer.
So for those of you interested in the best online gambling sites like icecasino, we’ve decided to look at how the bookmakers assess the Uruguayan’s future.
Here are the five favourites to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
Barcelona – 9/1
Barcelona saw first hand the talents of Nunez this season, with the forward scoring twice as Benfica beat the Spaniards 3-0 in this season’s Champions League group stage.
Nunez’s brace at the Estádio da Luz contributed to Barcelona’s early exit from Europe’s elite and the Catalans are believed to be among the 22-year-old’s admirers as the club consider centre-forward additions.
Darwin Nunez can't stop scoring goals ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/kg5BHy4Asy
— GOAL (@goal) April 17, 2022
Barcelona are rebuilding under the management of Xavi and have a strong core of homegrown talent, having added Ferran Torres to a side containing exciting academy graduates in Pedri and Gavi.
Luis Suarez reportedly recommended Nunez to his former side during the forward’s time at Almeria, where a 16-goal season piqued Portuguese interest.
Barcelona will now need to find a fee far in excess of the £20m figure that took the Uruguayan from Spain’s Segunda División to Benfica to conclude a deal
Newcastle can also be found at odds of 9/1 as the Magpies’ ambitious ownership look to attract top talent to St James’ Park this summer.
Arsenal – 9/1
Arsenal are on the hunt for a centre-forward this summer after failed moves in January, the North London side’s interest in Dusan Vlahovic failing to materialise in a deal as the Serbian chose a switch to Juventus.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Victor Osimhen, Alexander Isak and Jonathan David are among the other names linked with the Emirates, though Nunez has emerged as one of the most coveted forwards in Europe following his exploits this season.
Debut season ✅
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 18, 2022
The 22-year-old would fit the profile of player Arsenal have targeted in recent windows, arriving at an age with room for improvement and with the hunger to develop into a leading talent.
Much could depend on whether Arsenal secure a top four finish and Champions League football, but a recent dip in form has seen the Gunners drop to fifth.
Current options Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have just four league goals between them this season and are both out of contract at the end of the campaign.
Upgrades are required at the Emirates if Mikel Arteta’s team are to continue improving.
Real Madrid – 7/1
Real Madrid are priced at odds of 7/1 to sign Nunez this summer, as the Spanish side look for alternative options at centre-forward.
Kylian Mbappe remains the leading target for Real Madrid and is expected to complete a free transfer move from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, though Los Blancos have been linked with further goalscoring additions.
Manchester City’s closing in on Erling Haaland could see Real Madrid turn to Nunez, whose comfortability in multiple roles could see him be a fine foil – and eventual long-term replacement – for Karim Benzema.
Nunez’s familiarity with Spanish football, potential and versatility would make him a sensible signing as Real Madrid look to establish themselves as La Liga’s dominant force.
Liverpool – 3/1
Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Nunez during Liverpool’s quarter-final clash with Benfica in this season’s Champions League, joking that the ‘extremely good-looking’ Uruguayan forward has the full package.
“Extremely good-looking boy. Really good, really good. He played pretty much in front of me, with his tough battles with Ibou Konate. Physically strong, quick, was calm with his finish. If he stays healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.”
Nunez scored in both legs of Liverpool’s 6-4 aggregate win over the Portuguese side and impressed with his performances against the Reds’ centre-backs.
Jurgen Klopp on Benfica star Darwin Núñez: “An extremely good looking boy, eh? He is a really good boy”. 😄🇺🇾 #LFC
“He played in front of me battling against Konate. He was calm for the finish. He is good, really good. If he stays healthy, he has a big career ahead of him”. pic.twitter.com/NS0IsfI8u3
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 12, 2022
Nunez’s work-rate and mobility would make him suited to the energy of Klopp’s system at Anfield, but having secured the signing of Luis Diaz in January the club’s options are stacked.
A move for Nunez is plausible, but perhaps only if one of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah – each who enter the final 12 months of their deals this summer – move on at the end of the campaign.
Manchester United – 2/1
Manchester United are the bookmakers’ favourites to sign Nunez, ahead of a huge rebuild at Old Trafford this summer.
Ralf Rangnick was stinging in his criticism of the Red Devils’ ’embarrassing’ 4-0 defeat at Liverpool this week and insisted as many as 10 new players could arrive in a huge overhaul.
Erik ten Hag is expected to be named as the man to oversee that rebuild and the Dutchman saw his Ajax side dumped out of this season’s Champions League after Nunez scored the decisive goal in Benfica’s win in Amsterdam.
Nunez would bring an industrious cutting edge to the Red Devils’ side and an injection of quality that is desperately needed.