Liverpool have signed Darwin Nunez from Benfica in exchange for 75 million euros plus a further 25 million euros in variables.
These figures can be regarded as astronomical for a player who played for Almeria in LaLiga Smartbank two seasons ago, with the Spanish side receiving 20 percent of Benfica‘s profit from the transfer.
Ramon Planes and Ronald Koeman
Barcelona always had the Uruguayan striker on their radar and came very close to signing him, with the then-technical director Ramon Planes having been following Nunez‘s progress.
At that time, it was Ronald Koeman who was in charge of the team and he didn’t know much about Nunez. Planes shared with the Dutchman a video to watch and to then consider his signing.
A few days later, the Dutchman gave the green light and the former technical director rolled up his sleeves.
Offer to Almeria
Planes made Almeria an offer to acquire Nunez’s services for 10m euros, but without signing him immediately. Darwin would stay at Almeria for one more season and join Barcelona in 2021.
The Andalusian club were willing to accept the proposal because they could count on the prodigious striker for one campaign.
However, Benfica emerged as potential suitors and the Portuguese club were willing to invest 25m euros in signing Nunez. In fact, this was the most expensive sale in the history of the Spanish second tier.
Meanwhile, Barcelona neither wanted nor could compete with Benfica for Nunez‘s signature. In fact, in that summer their main signing was that of Sergino Dest from Ajax for 21m euros, as they sent Arthur Melo to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanic.