Darwin Nunez of Benfica is on Liverpool’s transfer wishlist, and many are betting on the Reds to complete the move.
The revelation comes as a blow to Manchester United, who are also interested in signing the striker. However, with no Champions League football on offer, the 22-year-old is likely to choose a move to Anfield over Old Trafford.
As he begins his rebuilding effort at the club, new manager Erik ten Hag has made it a goal to sign at least one new forward. Nunez, who has 32 goals last season, would have been a perfect fit for the team. United, on the other hand, appears to be compelled to shift its focus elsewhere.
With that in mind, Mirror Football has put together a shortlist of five potential replacements for Nunez this summer.
Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi
Awoniyi didn’t seem to be able to cut it at the top level while at Liverpool, which is why the Merseysiders permitted him to make his first loan to Union Berlin permanent last summer. However, a good campaign in Germany’s top flight has progressively shifted such perceptions.
As a profile, he’s large, strong, and capable of holding the ball. Most significantly, he possesses a great goal-scoring eye. In his two seasons with Union Berlin, he has scored 20 Bundesliga goals, 15 of which came last season.
He spent most of the season in a front two, which is notable considering that Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be a significant presence at United next season. If the Portugal star is to continue producing his best form, he’ll need a teammate who can do more than simply score goals, and Awoniyi may be that partner.
Mainz 05 Jonathan Burkardt
Burkhardt of Mainz may be the ideal addition if the goal is to get legs around Ronaldo next season. He scored and assisted for Germany’s U21 team against Hungary last week, finishing up a strong season for the 21-year-old.
Only two players under the age of 22 scored more league goals in Europe’s top five leagues last season, with 11 goals and three assists in 34 first-team league games.
He’s also a thorn in the side of opposing defenders, frequently chasing down passes and making darting runs in behind them. The 21-year-old appears to have a great career ahead of him, and he should only improve as he matures.
Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Calvert-Lewin of Everton is another hardworking attacker, and his work rate was a big reason why he was a regular starter for the Toffees for a long period, even when goals were few. During his first three seasons at the club, he only scored 11 Premier League goals.
That’s something he’s worked hard to change since then, scoring 13 league goals in his first season and then another 16 in the two seasons after that. Despite missing substantial portions of the season due to injuries, he managed five in the previous year.
It’s easy to see why so many large teams are supposedly interested in him as a highly well-rounded center-forward who can now score goals, but if United can prove their own desire, it’s a move you might see occurring.
Gianluca Scamacca – Sassuolo After a successful season in Serie A last season, Scamacca has earned a lot of interest from a number of prominent teams in recent months, and it appears that Arsenal is leading the battle to recruit him.
United, on the other hand, would be prudent not to give the Gunners a free run at him. The 23-year-old needed some time to establish himself at the top level, but he’s truly come into his own in the last two seasons, scoring a total of 28 Serie A goals.
He stands an intimidating 6ft5 in profile, giving him an ever-present aerial threat and ideal target man. He’s also an eager runner into channels who blends in nicely with his teammates. A transfer to the Premier League appears to be a possibility, and Old Trafford would be a great fit.
Napoli’s Victor Osimhen
Many major Premier League teams are keeping an eye on Osimhen, and it’s simple to understand why. With 18 goals last season, he was Napoli’s leading scorer, and the club naturally does not want to lose him.
Most interested parties will be put off by the asking price of more than £90 million, but if that price drops, he may be a great investment for United.
The 23-year-old has a huge jump on him, which makes him a valuable asset in set pieces and cross-field scenarios. Despite his stature, he is incredibly nimble and excels at leading a line.