Darwin Nunez signing branded ‘a worry’ as Liverpool agree fee for Benfica star

Liverpool's Salah wins PFA Player of the Season

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Dean Saunders has claimed that it is “a worry” that Liverpool have had to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez and admitted that he still hopes that both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah remain at Anfield beyond this summer. Benfica confirmed in the early hours of Monday morning that they have agreed a fee with the Reds that could reach up to a club record £85million.

Nunez is expected to join as a replacement for Mane, who has continued to be linked with a move to Bayern Munich. “You have got to trust Jurgen Klopp and his scouting system,” former Liverpool striker Saunders told talkSPORT. “The recruitment he has done in the past has been brilliant, he doesn’t seem to get any wrong, they have got [Luis] Diaz now.

“It is a bit of a worry that they have signed this lad [Nunez], it looks like one is coming in and there is one going out of the door. I hope not. I hope Mane and Salah don’t leave. I hope it is still salvageable.”

Ally McCoist interrupted Saunders to say that he isn’t sure that the former Wales international would get his wish. “No, it doesn’t look like it Ally,” Saunders replied. “But this lad looks big, strong, quick, scores goals, perfect. [Roberto] Firmino’s contract is up [in 2023] as well, [Diogo] Jota is there but there is another one in the group.

“Manchester City have strengthened while they are strong, and that is what Liverpool are trying to do.”

Nunez’s signing comes as Mane nears a move to Bayern. The Senegal star has just one year left on his Liverpool contract and has publicly teased a move to the German giant.

Ahead of the Champions League final, Mane told reporters that he would give a “special” decision on his future. Then, on international duty, the forward claimed that he would do what the people of his country wanted him to do, when told that an online poll in Senegal said that 60-70% of people wanted him to leave Liverpool.

Nunez is set to become Liverpool’s second signing of the summer after the Reds confirmed a deal for Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho earlier in the transfer window. If Mane does leave, Nunez will join an attacking quartet of Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino. He will have to compete for his place in the team and has been warned that he may only play half of Liverpool’s games next season by former Manchester City defender Nedum Onouha.

When asked who he thinks will score the most goals next season out of Nunez and Erling Haaland, Onouha replied: “I’m going to go with Erling Haaland. That’s purely because I think he’ll play more games. If Nunez signs he might start half the season for Liverpool, maybe. So that’s why I am going to go for Haaland.”

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