Man Utd ‘counting on Darwin Nunez to lead attack’ in blow to Cristiano Ronaldo
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Manchester United are counting on Benfica star Darwin Nunez to lead their attack next season, according to reports. The Uruguay international has been in sensational form this term, scoring 34 goals across all competitions. And, if he arrives, that could spell trouble for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has been a shining light since returning to United back in the summer, scoring 24 goals across all competitions.
However, with the 37-year-old approaching the twilight years of his career, it’s possible he may no longer play every game.
Now, Portuguese newspaper Record have claimed United are ‘counting on’ Nunez to lead their attack next season.
Having missed out on Erling Haaland, who is primed to leave Borussia Dortmund for fierce rivals Manchester City instead, the Red Devils are willing to act.
However, while that’s the case, United will have to break the bank if they’re to bring Nunez to the Premier League.
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Benfica want a fee close to £85million to part ways with their star striker, who has netted more goals than the likes of Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial combined this season.
And history suggests United may not pay such a big amount to lure him away from the Estadio Da Luz.
Only Paul Pogba has cost the club more, with the France international setting them back £89m in the summer transfer window of 2016.
Any deal for Nunez would eclipse the £80m they paid Leicester for Harry Maguire three years ago.
And it would make him their most-expensive striker signing in their entire history, with Romelu Lukaku going to Old Trafford for £75m from Everton in 2017.
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What happens with Nunez remains to be seen.
But with United wanting a new striker to ease the burden on Ronaldo, it’ll be interesting to see what they decide to do.
Erik ten Hag will be manager of the club next season, having fended off competition from Mauricio Pochettino to secure the role.
And he knows all about Nunez, who starred as Benfica eliminated his Ajax side from the Champions League earlier this season.
Meanwhile, former United star Diego Forlan has urged his old team to land Nunez this summer.
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“I think that he is a very good player, a good kid who is doing really well at Benfica and is enjoying a strong season,” he said recently.
“It is not just the Portuguese league where he is doing well but in the Champions League too.
“He is a player who has a lot of potential and he could fit in at Manchester United.
“But obviously, everyone needs to have patience, although he is getting better with more and more experience.”
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United could sell several players this summer.
Rashford has been linked with Arsenal and Newcastle amid claims the Red Devils have slapped a £60m price tag on him.
Cavani is destined to go, especially after recently implying he regretted signing a new United contract last summer.
And Martial is another casualty expected, with his loan spell at Sevilla yet to work out.
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