Tottenham Hotspur are interested in securing the signature of Benfica and Uruguay striker Darwin Núñez this summer.
What’s the word?
That is according to Football Transfers, who suggest representatives of the 22-year-old have already met with Spurs.
The report also suggests that there are other Premier League and European suitors for the Uruguayan suitor this summer with Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid among potential suitors for the Benfica star.
It has been suggested that it would cost £68m for any buying side, with the Portuguese giants aware of the talent that the striker possesses.
More sense than Depay
Ahead of the summer transfer window, Antonio Conte’s side have also been linked with a move for Barcelona’s Memphis Depay, who has also received interest from North London rivals Arsenal.
The Catalan giants are unlikely to part ways with the Dutch international until they can find a replacement, but the £40.5m-rated man is likely to cost a buying club less money, than what it would should they purchase Núñez, who has been described as a player “getting better with more experience” by former Uruguay and Manchester United striker Diego Forlan.
However, the eight-capped Uruguayan international has a much higher ceiling than his Dutch counterpart at the age of 22, which is six years Depay’s junior.
As well as this, Núñez’s goals have been off the charts this season, scoring 26 in all league games for Benfica, whilst Depay has only been able to find the back of the net 12 times in La Liga for the side from Catalonia according to FBref, suggesting that the man who is worth £68m to the Portuguese giants is more of a natural goalscorer, and therefore may be able to adapt to the Premier League quicker.
This works out at a goals per 90 minutes rate of 1.18 for the Benfica man, and 0.68 for the Barcelona man according to the same stats provider, demonstrating a clear plus side for spending more money on Núñez rather than the Netherlands international.
As well as this, there is also the factor that Depay has already had an ill-fated spell in the Premier League, signing for Manchester United in the summer of 2015 for £31m, making just 53 appearances over an almost two-season spell, scoring only seven goals, according to Transfermarkt, before moving to Lyon.
In terms of how they would perform at Spurs, Núñez, once dubbed a “sensational talent” by journalist Jason Dodd, is more likely to adapt to playing in a two with Harry Kane, having played in a strike-pairing for the majority of the season at Benfica, whilst Depay has been used to playing in the centre on his own at Barcelona, something that will not happen as long as Kane is at Spurs.
Whilst both would be positive additions to Conte’s squad for next season’s Premier League and Champions League campaigns, Núñez would be the far superior addition to the side, with his goals record speaking for itself, as well as having the potential to fit into a partnership with Kane, something which Depay is unlikely to be capable of.