Liverpool primed to benefit from Barcelona’s financial woes after ‘strong interest’ claim

Darwin Nunez is set to join Liverpool for a deal that could reach £85 million but was once wanted by Barcelona.

Liverpool are primed to complete a deal for Darwin Nunez.

The Benfica striker is set to move to Anfield for a fee that could reach £85 million - which would prove a club-record transfer.

It's certainly a significant financial outlay the Reds are willing to fork out, with an initial sum of £64 million guaranteed.

Background

Nunez, 22, fired 34 goals in just 41 games for the Portuguese outfit in 2021-22.

And with Sadio Mane set to depart this summer after a six-year stay - Bayern Munich are the most likely suitors - Liverpool have swiftly found a replacement.

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However, Nunez could well have been donning the blue and maroon of Barcelona only for their financial problems.

The Uruguay international netted 16 goals for Spanish second-tier side Almeria in 2019-20 and Barca were urged to make a move by former Kop striker and compatriot Luis Suarez.

But the Nou Camp outfit's well-documented off-field issues meant they could not meet the £20 million price tag Benfica paid.

Almeria sporting director Joao Goncalves admitted that Barcelonashowed 'strong interest' in Nunez.

What’s been said

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Benfica forward Darwin Nunez. Picture: CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images

He told BBC Sport: "Barcelona, indeed, showed a strong interest in Darwin.

“We discussed how the operation would be and outlined it, but they were already going through a tough time back then and that complicated things.

"I'm convinced that, had those talks happened in a less turbulent period for them, he would have moved to Barcelona.

"What was on the table was the possibility of them signing Darwin and leaving him with us for another season on loan.

“Pretty much like they had done before with Pedri at Las Palmas."

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Nunez is set to become Liverpool’s second signing of the summer.

The Reds have already announced Fabio Carvalho will arrive from Fulham for a fee that could reach £7.7 million.