Manchester United are edging closer to their first signing of the Erik ten Hag era, according to reports – and it’s a “brilliant” one.
Ten Hag is believed to want reinforcements all over the pitch, with new defenders and midfielders being linked with the Red Devils constantly. A marquee signing up front remains one of the key areas that United are rumoured to want, however, and one name appears to be close to joining.
With Cristiano Ronaldo now 37 and Edinson Cavani having departed at the end of the campaign, the club are keen to make a statement buy, according to reports.
Transfer guru Dean Jones says that the 20-time English title winners are very close to signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica, from under the noses of the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, who have all been linked with the Uruguayan hitman.
“One source described this deal to United to me as being ‘extremely close’,” Jones told Give Me Sport (opens in new tab). “They consider Atletico Madrid as their main rivals to sign him, from what I hear, but obviously, loads around Europe are looking.
“If Darwin does move to Old Trafford, it will be a brilliant signing for the Ten Hag era.”
The 22-year-old had a stunning season in Portuguese football and was one of the breakout stars of the Champions League, netting against the likes of Liverpool, Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich as Benfica reached the quarter-finals.
Nunez is valued at around £49.5m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
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New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been speaking to the press as he takes control of the Red Devils. The 52-year-old has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo remains a part of his plans heading into next season, while suggesting that he may need patience to transform Old Trafford in his image.
Rumours are rife that the club are looking to slash the wage bill – with PSG lining up one final attempt to sway Paul Pogba to Paris. There could be plenty of incomings, too: Frenkie de Jong remains a key target at £67.5m, while Raphinha of Leeds is on the radar. Jurrien Timber is one name heavily linked, while United are long-term admirers of Lazio man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
One slightly leftfield potential buy would be Christian Eriksen from Brentford, who is out of contract following the end of the season.