LISBON, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Benfica's Darwin Nunez during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between SL Benfica and Liverpool FC at the Estádio da Luz. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Portuguese journalist claims Darwin Nunez to Liverpool is a done deal

Liverpool are closer than ever to announcing the club-record signing of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, with journalists in Portugal claiming it is now a done deal.

In a surprise development early in the summer, Liverpool are going all out to replace Sadio Mane with 22-year-old Uruguay international Nunez.

Nunez, who scored 34 goals in 41 games for Benfica this season, is expected to join in a deal that will shatter the Reds’ existing transfer record.

A package worth upwards of £85 million has been widely reported, which is considerably higher than the £75 million paid to Southampton to sign Virgil van Dijk.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein and James Pearce relayed on Thursday that personal terms had already been agreed with Nunez, while ESPN claimed that talks between Liverpool and Benfica were “advanced.”

Now, Portuguese journalist Pedro Sepulveda – who is based in Lisbon and works for TV network SIC Noticias – has described the deal as “done” pending a final sign-off from Benfica.

Sepulveda claims that Man United are “out of the race,” though it was never suspected that Nunez would opt for Old Trafford, and that the player has “already announced the decision to his family and friends.”

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Wednesday, September 29, 2021: Benfica's Darwin Nun?ez prepares to take a penaty kick during the UEFA Champions League Group E Matchday 2 game between SL Benfica and FC Barcelona at the Estádio da Luz. Benfica won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Nunez is reported to have agreed a five-year contract with Liverpool worth €6 million after tax, which equates to around £100,000 a week.

There is, of course, a chance that Sepulveda has jumped the gun, but it stands to reason that the deal should be finalised in the near future given how swiftly reports have developed.

When news of Liverpool’s intention to sign a player leaks to the Merseyside press, it is rare that the club would not already have the transfer effectively wrapped up – or at least have assurances that will be the case.