Benfica caretaker manager Nelson Verissimo has said that he hopes the club will get a transfer fee similar to Joao Felix’s when the club moves striker Darwin Nunez on. The 22-year-old has been linked with a number of clubs for this summer, including Arsenal and Manchester United.
Nunez has been one of the standout performers this season, scoring 24 goals in 24 league appearances for Benfica this season. It hasn’t only been in Portugal that he has performed this season though, scoring five goals in the Champions League, his most recent being an impressive strike against Liverpool.
This has led to the transfer interest mentioned, with the Gunners in search of a striker this summer. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving in January for Barcelona, the duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could soon follow as their contracts expire at the end of the season.
The current pairing only have four Premier League goals between them this season, further highlighting the need for a forward this summer. When asked about the lack of goals recently, Mikel Arteta said: “We need to score more goals that’s for sure. That’s a collective issue.”
Nunez could well be the option to sign as the Gunners are said to be interested in bringing the striker in. However, they may have to pay quite a bit to land him.
West Ham were said to have had a £50million move in January rejected for the Uruguayan, with caretaker manager Verissimo claiming he would like a similar fee to Joao Felix. He said, via Goal : “What do you think? Darwin is an excellent player, he has shown all his quality. He has helped the team a lot, it is true that the team has also helped him a lot.
“He is a young player with a lot of potential, it is natural that given what has been his growth throughout this season and also a lot as a result of the performance he has had in the Champions League games, it is natural that he arouses the interest of the big European clubs.
“It [a transfer] will be at the end of this season or the following season, depending on what he has shown, it is natural that it will arouse interest from other clubs and naturally there may be the time in which he goes. Now regarding numbers, I hope as a Benfica fan that he will go for numbers close to those that were Joao Felix’s numbers. Now it’s not for me to enter numbers on that field.”
Joao Felix made the move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid in 2019 for roughly £114million, outlining just how much it could cost to sign Nunez. If he fulfills his potential, it may be a deal for the Gunners, but it remains to be seen exactly how negotiations may play out.