After weeks of speculation, it would appear that Liverpool have finally got their man, with Benfica striker Darwin Nunez seemingly on his way to Anfield in an £85m deal.
While not yet confirmed by the club, the move has been given the much-coveted green light from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, with it only a matter of time before the Uruguayan is officially announced by the Merseyside outfit.
Having seen title rivals Manchester City act clinically and decisively to secure the services of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp’s side have moved to recruit an exciting young forward of their own, fending off Manchester United to snap up the promising Nunez.
After firing in 34 goals in all competitions for the Portuguese side last term, including two against the Reds in the Champions League quarter-final, the 22-year-old has caught the attention of those across Europe, with it seemingly having been a case of when and not if he would leave his current side.
There will be understandable excitement among the Liverpool support regarding the deal, although some may see it wise to not get carried away just yet, with hard to shake the memories of another young prospect who failed to deliver after trading Benfica for the Reds – Lazar Markovic.
Plucked from Portugal in 2014 on a fairly sizeable £20m deal, the Serbian was tipped for big things upon his arrival in England, even earning comparisons to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for his prodigious talent from former Chelsea interim Avram Grant.
With little first-team experience under his belt he was something of an unknown quantity to most, although soon became a well-known name – for all the wrong reasons.
In truth, he simply never managed to make his mark for the club, scoring just three goals and registering just one assist across all competitions in his four-and-a-half-year spell, albeit with much of that time spent out on loan.
He would eventually join Fulham in February 2019 on a free transfer, although was again almost anonymous for the west Londoners, with the 28-year-old now plying his trade for Partizan Belgrade having joined the Serbian outfit just a matter of months into his stint at Craven Cottage.
That horror transfer for the Reds – which came in the same summer as Mario Balotelli’s infamous arrival and Luis Suarez’s long-awaited exit – could prove a warning sign for the impending Nunez arrival, with Markovic showing how a lack of experience, a big fee and a change of leagues can prove problematic.
Of course, the youngster has enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough campaign at the top level, although does one standout season warrant such a hefty fee?
While City are gaining an almost guaranteed supply of goals in Haaland – the Norwegian netting 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund- Nunez is far more of a gamble and one that could well come back to bite them.
Liverpool have rarely got it wrong in the transfer window of late, although this latest deal may prove to be an anomaly.
IN other news, Klopp now plotting Liverpool bid for “dangerous” £34m talent, just imagine him & Nunez