Manchester United and Arsenal have gained an advantage in the quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League ahead of the summer transfer window.
Darwin Nunez, the prolific Benfica striker who has lit up the Primeira Liga with 20 goals in 22 games this season, is being pursued by a slew of clubs around Europe. In January, the 22-year-old Uruguay international was extensively linked with a move to the Premier League, with Newcastle and West Ham expressing interest.
While he ultimately chose to stay in Portugal, it appears that he will be looking for a new challenge at the end of the season. Nunez has made a clear demand to his suitors in this regard, raising the stakes for United and Arsenal in the run-in.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the player will only consider joining a team that will participate in the Champions League next season. According to the source, Atletico Madrid is one of the frontrunners to sign Nunez, and Benfica has set a price of at least £60 million for its prized asset. United and Arsenal, on the other hand, remain possible destinations, and the team that finishes fourth will gain a significant advantage in the fight for one of Europe’s free-scoring centre-forwards.
Due to the expiration of Edinson Cavani’s contract and the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s futures, the Red Devils are likely to revamp their attack this summer. After losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona in the January window, the Gunners will be left with very few options up front in a matter of months when Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are expected to leave on free transfers.
Both teams have an urgent need for attacking talent, which adds a new dimension to the extremely contested race for a top-four finish. With a four-point lead and a game in hand over United, Arsenal has the upper hand moving into the season’s final stretch. Tottenham are also in the mix, sitting just three points behind their North London rivals, and if they finish fourth, they could derail the Gunners’ and Red Devils’ transfer plans.
Atletico Madrid sit fourth in La Liga, with a four-point lead over fifth-placed Real Betis. Diego Simeone’s side looks poised to qualify for the Champions League. This might help the Spanish giants if they decide to make a big-money approach for Nunez, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals in April.