Manchester City & Newcastle set for transfer showdown for €80million-rated Darwin Nunez

Premier League leaders Manchester City and cash-rich Newcastle United could be set to lock horns over star SL Benfica striker Darwin Nunez next summer as interest in the 22-year-0ld Uruguayan continues to grow.

Nunez has produced a stellar 2021-22 campaign for As Águias, bagging 26-goals in just 33-appearances across all competitions which includes twenty in twenty-two in Liga Portugal.

His goal last night against Dutch giants Ajax gifted Benfica a 1-0 win in Amsterdam and passage into the quarterfinals of the Champions League, where they face possible showdowns against Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atlético Madrid, and Bayern Munich.

Such was the importance of that goal and his level of overall play this season that club sporting director and Portuguese icon Rui Costa has publicly stated that Nunez will not be available for anything less than €80million this summer as clubs have begun to circle, as reported by both Mundo Deportivo as well as Record.

With Manchester City possibly looking at another avenue away from Erling Haaland and Newcastle all but sure to look to add quality in multiple positions in the summer, both clubs could certainly be willing to splash the listed price.

Pep Guardiola’s outfit remains without a recognized center-forward other than Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad Stadium despite often utilizing Phil Foden as a false nine in a front three, and a deal for Nunez could offer an intriguing long-term alternative to not only Haaland (who is being courted by most of Europe’s elite) but also Robert Lewandowski who could seek a move away from Bayern Munich this summer after the Bavarian giants have yet to table a contract extension.

As for Eddie Howe's Newcastle, the Magpies will contend with having just Chris Wood, Callum Wilson, and Dwight Gale as their only true central options despite Allan Saint-Maximine often utilized down the middle. If the St. James' Park outfit intends to try to upset the apple cart and push their project up the table in rapid order, a move for a player of Nunez's ability would be a massive win for the PIF-owned club.

West Ham out of the race for Nunez

One Premier League club that has pulled out of their interest in Darwin Nunez is West Ham United after the wanted asking price for the Uruguayan is well out of their price range.

The Hammers are in an even trickier position than the aforementioned Manchester City and Newcastle with only Jamaican star Michail Antonio the sole player capable of consistently producing at leading the line.

West Ham did have a bid for Nunez turned down during the January window when the Uruguayan was fas far more affordable, but they could be set to turn to Arsenal veteran Alexandre Lacazette in a free transfer during the summer window as the Frenchman - though highly valued in north London - is still on course to depart the Emirates along with Eddie Nketiah.

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