Darwin Nunez to Liverpool FC reports prove Erik ten Hag is already making his mark at Man United – Casey Evans

Manchester United are in the market to improve their forward line this summer. Following the departure of Edinson Cavani and the expected departure of Antony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo is the club’s only recognised striker and Jadon Sancho’s preference for the left-hand side now means there is a hole on the right-wing.

To solve the striking issue, it seemed that United had turned to Cavani’s countryman, Darwin Nunez. The forward has scored 24 goals this season in 41 games and this includes six strikes in the Champions League.

Both United and Newcastle were reportedly interested in the player alongside Atletico Madrid, but it was very clear from early on that the player wanted to play in the Champions League again next season. Thanks to a poor 2021/22 season this was of course something the club couldn’t offer him.

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However given the player’s preference for the Premier League, United were likely confident that they could convince Nunez of Erik ten Hag’s project and get him to Old Trafford. That was before Liverpool came in.

It seems Sadio Mane will be departing Anfield this summer, with Bayern Munich interested in the winger, so Jurgen Klopp will need a replacement. And according to Fabrizio Romano and reports in Portugal, the player they want to take up the mantle is Nunez.

Benfica reportedly want £85m for the player as well as the player’s own personal demands, and Liverpool are prepared to offer that, but instead of matching that offer or trying to sway the player with more money, United seem to have walked away. And this in many fans’ opinions shows a lot of growth from the club.

Though many are unhappy at how efficiently Liverpool seems to do business, a lot have accepted that spending that much on one player is not a good idea and if they are to sanction a deal at that price point it should be in midfield. They are also glad that the club has not wasted time or thrown silly wages at the player to try and convince him to give up a better move.

In the past, United would have felt it was their prerogative to defend their status as one of the biggest clubs in England and make sure the deal happened no matter what, but maybe it is a sign of smarter decision-making or an acceptance that they are not the premium destination in the Premier League anymore that they’ve decided to walk away. Either train of thought will stand them in good stead.

United now will hopefully either secure an alternative target upfront or look to address the right-wing instead to improve the starting XI for Ten Hag and give him options going into what will be a difficult season. And it will likely be a while yet until the club are in a position to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool in the transfer market.

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