West Ham United are the latest team to be linked with a move for Darwin Nunez this winter…
That’s according to Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness), who claim that the Irons are keen on launching a bid for the 22-year-old Benfica talisman in January.
The Uruguay international has a whopping €150m (£127m) release clause, so he could command a record-breaking fee for the Primeira Liga, and the Hammers also face fierce competition from some of Europe’s elite.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, both Manchester and Milan clubs, as well as Saudi-backed Newcastle United, have all been mentioned with interest.
Nunez only joined the Eagles in 2020 but has quickly established himself as a rather prolific goalscorer in Portugual’s top-flight and in Europe, too – for instance, he’s found the net 11 times already this season, averaging a goal every 86 minutes, via Transfermarkt.
It’s no secret that the Hammers are in desperate need of frontline additions as it’s bordering on two years since manager David Moyes had more than just 31-year-old Michail Antonio, who has dealt with numerous injury problems in the past, at his disposal.
Him facing time on the sideline is always a worry but now he’s out of form too, scoring just once in nine matches, so the Scot cannot even turn to an alternative to spark a reaction.
Nunez, considering the calibre of teams keen to land his signature, would certainly be a major coup for Rob Newman’s recruitment team at the London Stadium.
His manager, Jorge Jesus, believes he will become a “world-class” player one day, making Benfica millions in the process.
“All this decision-making ability, finishing and speed… He was Benfica’s most expensive purchase, and when there is no pandemic, he will be the most expensive sale,” he claimed. “He will be a world-class player. Unfortunately for me, maybe I will lose him in a short time.”
Some have dubbed him the ‘next Luis Suarez,’ who of course had plenty of success in England at Liverpool, whilst he has also been described as the “complete forward” and a “poacher” by scout Jacek Kulig, who has also previously likened his style to that of Alvaro Morata.
On the above evidence, Newman could seal Moyes a fantastic option up top and if they can strike a deal over some elite teams, it would be a massive statement of intent.