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SPORTS UPDATE

Liverpool agree €75m deal for Benfica striker Nunez

Liverpool have reached a deal with Benfica to buy the Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez for an initial €75 million (£64 million), the Portuguese club said on Monday.

The transfer could eventually rise to €100 million, Benfica said in a statement, eclipsing Liverpool’s club-record £75 million paid to Southampton for Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk in 2018.

Nunez scored 26 goals in 28 league appearances last season in Portugal.

The 22-year-old, who was left out of Uruguay’s squad for Saturday’s 5-0 friendly victory over Panama, was expected to begin a medical on Monday which could take two days to complete.

Personal terms are not anticipated to be a problem, with the player having expressed his desire to play for Reds manager Jurgen Klopp despite interest from Manchester United.

Nunez is set to sign a reported six-year contract with Premier League and Champions League runners-up Liverpool, who have been in talks with Benfica for several weeks.

He netted in both legs of Benfica’s Champions League quarter-final defeat against Liverpool in April, earning praise from Klopp.

Nunez is likely to arrive at Anfield as a direct replacement for Sadio Mane after Bayern Munich stepped up their pursuit of the Senegal forward.

Liverpool have rejected two offers from the Bundesliga champions and are holding out for a fee in excess of £40 million for Mane, who has one year left on his contract.

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