Manchester United chances of signing Benfica striker Darwin Nunez this summer could be dependent on them qualifying for next season’s Champions League, The Telegraph reports.
The Red Devils have had an average Premier League campaign by their standards. They are presently sixth in the standings, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand.
With just nine league games left in the season, the Red Devils barely any room for setbacks. The top four race could potentially go down to the wire with Tottenham Hotspur also in the mix.
Amidst this, it is reported that United’s interest in Nunez is more ‘advanced’ than Arsenal’s, but they may have to finish in the Champions League places to convince the Uruguayan over a summer transfer.
Benfica purchased Nunez from Almeria in the summer of 2020 for a club-record £20 million fee. They are now eyeing at least thrice the figure (£60m) to sanction his sale during the next transfer window.
Nunez had a good debut campaign with Benfica last term with 14 goals and 12 assists from 44 outings. He followed to undergo a knee surgery last summer which has brought the best out of him.
The 22-year-old has bagged 26 goals and two assists from just 33 outings. He has not only impressed in Portugal but also in the Champions League with goals against Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax.
Hence, he has only enhanced his reputation further. There could be plenty of interest in him this summer, considering a number of elite European clubs are also searching for a marquee striker.
Aside from United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are among the high-profile teams that are eyeing a genuine goalscorer. As such, the Red Devils will have to secure a top-four finish to convince him.
Champions League football is not out of reach for United at the moment, but their inconsistent run of results over the past few months should be a major cause for concern.
The club have dropped points against mid-table teams which they should beat. They have been made to rue for missed scoring opportunities which have proved very costly.
The final season run-in could be interesting to watch. The recent international break could act as a reset for the Red Devils as they look to build a winning streak together.
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