Liverpool battled Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, Real Madrid and West Ham to land Darwin Nunez as Jurgen Klopp ‘made the difference’ in £85m transfer battle


Liverpool fought off competition from Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, Real Madrid and West Ham to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

The Reds moved quickly earlier this summer to land the Uruguayan star in a deal that could reach a club record £85million.

Nunez scored 26 goals in 28 league appearances last season
Getty

Many were impressed with the speed and ease of the move, especially as the 23-year-old striker was one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

Nunez has emerged as one of the continent’s hottest prospects after dazzling for Benfica in the Champions League and Primeira Liga.

West Ham saw a £45million bid rejected in January, with Benfica keen to see how the Champions League knockout stages would affect Nunez’s price.

It is understood that Man United also arranged a meeting with the Portuguese club, but chairman Rui Costa had to cancel due to illness.

Now transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed the genuine interest in Nunez – with Arsenal, Newcastle and Real Madrid too.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano said: “There were many clubs interested.

Liverpool battled Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, Real Madrid and West Ham to land Darwin Nunez as Jurgen Klopp 'made the difference' in £85m transfer battle
Nunez impressed Liverpool by playing against them in the Champions League
Getty


“In January, Arsenal and Newcastle made offers for Nunez, but it was impossible for Benfica to sell the player in January.

“On deadline day, West Ham made an offer, same response from Benfica: ‘No question of letting the player go now’.

“Also in June, Newcastle tried to get into the running, they called his agents, but Darwin wanted Champions League football and he wanted Liverpool.”

He added: “Real Madrid were very interested after missing out on Kylian Mbappe.

Liverpool battled Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, Real Madrid and West Ham to land Darwin Nunez as Jurgen Klopp 'made the difference' in £85m transfer battle
New Red Devils boss Ten Hag is a known admirer of Nunez
Getty

“But it wasn’t possible due to the passport situation. Nunez doesn’t have an EU passport and they couldn’t register him (having reached their quota of non-EU players).

“Manchester United wanted it, with [manager] Erik ten Hag looking for a striker.

“Ten Hag was pushing for the deal, but United’s budget was very clear at €70m including add-ons, no more than that.

“Liverpool are going to pay €75m guaranteed fee with add-ons to get to €100m as a full package.

Liverpool battled Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle, Real Madrid and West Ham to land Darwin Nunez as Jurgen Klopp 'made the difference' in £85m transfer battle
Klopp is believed to have played an important role in Nunez negotiations
Getty

“Man United decided to exit the race as it was impossible to enter a bidding war with Liverpool.

“Jurgen Klopp was the key man. He makes the difference for Liverpool.

“He called Nunez directly and the player was really excited about the prospect of joining Liverpool. Then they were very quick.

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