Manchester United are always the trending topic in football.
Whether it’s the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and their subsequent collapse in recent years, the controversial nature of Paul Pogba or Cristiano Ronaldo, United are never far from the back pages.
Now that they’ve hired Erik ten Hag, you can expect them to dominate the tabloids even more.
What’s the word?
This summer will play host to several transfer sagas. There is, of course, the futures of Erling Haaland, Mo Salah and Kylian Mbappe to address.
However, in Portugal, a certain Darwin Nunez deserves just as much attention.
The striker has caught the hearts and minds of many throughout the European continent this season and as a result, there is a fierce race for his services. Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle are interested in praising him away from Benfica.
Yet, the Red Devils are also in the hunt and fresh reports, via AS in Spain, suggest that Man United’s new manager is in love with the forward and has personally requested that he be signed this summer.
The trouble is he may cost somewhere in the region of €130m (£111m) if anyone can stump up the cash.
A major coup
Considering that not only Liverpool, a potential quadruple winning side, but their top-four rivals Arsenal are both in the picture to sign Nunez, this would be a considerable coup from United should they complete a move.
Should Man United sign Nunez?
And it is
Combine that with the fact that the 20-time English champions are currently in free fall and it would be a hefty surprise if Nunez was wearing red in Manchester next season, as opposed to Merseyside or north London.
Valued as highly as he currently is, it would take a rather brave sporting director and owner to pay what’s required but given his potential and already mesmeric ability, he’d surely be worth the cash.
If anything, it’s United and Ten Hag who are most in need of him too.
Ronaldo has found the net on 22 occasions this term but there is a lack of help beyond that with the club’s second top scorer – Bruno Fernandes – scoring nine times.
Therefore, in Nunez, the new Dutch coach would seal somebody who is capable of improving their offense tenfold.
In Liga NOS this season, the Uruguayan attacker has racked up a mammoth haul of 25 goals in 26 outings, while across all competitions he has found the net 33 times from 39 outings.
Furthermore, the young centre-forward ranks in the top 1% among similarly positioned players across Europe for goals per shot on target. He also ranks in the top 5% for progressive carries and then in the best 1% again for carries into the penalty area. Based on that it’s safe to say that Nunez is considerably tricky when in possession.
Of course, the Portuguese top-flight is somewhat off the Premier League in terms of overall quality but it’s hard to disagree with the statement that the 22-year-old would be a seriously impressive capture.
With United in decline, it is imperative that ten Hag gets his recruitment spot on. If he is already drawing up a shortlist of targets then Nunez must surely appear right near the very top.
Described as a “diamond” by Steve McManaman, he’s certainly the rare item of splendor that United require to get themselves back on track.
AND in other news, MUFC plot bid to sign “unstoppable” 30-goal “nightmare”, he’d become ten Hag’s Salah…