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Benfica Reject Manchester United’s Opening Bid to Sign Darwin Nunez, Send Counter Proposal

Darwin Nunez, Manchester United

According to reports in Portugal, Benfica have turned down the first proposal submitted by Manchester United to sign their star striker Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan forward has been heavily linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, sitting at the top of Erik ten Hag’s striker shortlist.

The new United manager wants to bring in a young striker to lead his team’s frontline next season and reduce the workload on Cristiano Ronaldo. It is safe to say that Ronaldo carried United for most of the 2021/22 season.

Darwin Nunez is one of the most sought-after strikers in the market currently. The Benfica forward scored a stunning 34 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions this season (Stats via Transfermarkt). His performances have attracted the interest of many elite European clubs.

Darwin Nunez, Benfica, Manchester United
Image obtained via TEAMtalk

According to Correio de Manha (via The Express), Benfica rejected an opening bid from Manchester United for Darwin Nunez, estimated around £89million. The report states that the Red Devils had included Andreas Pereira in the deal, but the Primeira Liga club aren’t interested in the midfielder.

As reported by the Portuguese outlet, United are willing to offer £64million upfront and around £17million in bonuses for the player. However, Benfica want more cash, reportedly £8.5million, instead of Pereira to seal the deal.

Why Manchester United Need To Improve Their Offer To Land Darwin Nunez?

The Portuguese side have the right to drive a hard bargain because of the quality of the player they hold. The interest from Liverpool is going to make it even tougher for United, considering the Reds played the UCL final this season and are performing at peak level. Atletico Madrid and Newcastle United are also keen on the player.

Paulo Catarro, a Portuguese journalist, has reported that Benfica want more money to sell the player. Catarro said:

“Benfica have already told those responsible at United that the deal requires more money.”

“Ultimately a bonus package can be included but involving players such as Andreas Pereira would be difficult.”

Darwin Nunez
Image obtained via Into The Calderon

Moreover, Andreas Pereira is not the most popular player at Old Trafford whereas Nunez is probably the most talked-about transfer in the market right now. Benfica will be losing their most important player. Either Manchester United will have to increase the price or include a better player to get somewhere close to signing Darwin Nunez.

Should United Improve Their Bid In An Attempt To Sign Nunez?

United currently want to rebuild their squad and they will need 3-4 signings this summer. They cannot afford to spend most of their budget on just one signing. Although the 22-year-old does justify his price tag, signing him might affect the Manchester club in other positions. Stabilising their defence and midfield should be their top priority right now, considering the season they just finished.

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The Uruguayan may not be as successful if he doesn’t have the required support. United have been poor at recruiting the appropriate players for the past few years and they should not get ahead of themselves to sign Nunez as well. Although it is unlikely that Benfica will consider any swap deal offers, the Red Devils could increase their chances of signing the striker by offering a better player in a swap deal to avoid spending more money.

Manchester United will need a better foundation to help Darwin Nunez thrive in England. To achieve that, they might have to increase their summer budget by selling the fringe players for acceptable prices.

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