Jurgen Klopp ordered Liverpool to sign Darwin Nunez over £52m Chelsea star - report

  • Liverpool signed Darwin Nunez in summer of 2022 for initial £64m
  • Club's recruitment team wanted Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig instead
  • Jurgen Klopp pushed for Nunez's transfer
Klopp has been a big believer in Nunez
Klopp has been a big believer in Nunez / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Liverpool were interested in signing Christopher Nkunku in 2022 before Jurgen Klopp insisted on bringing in Darwin Nunez instead, according to a report.

Nunez has proven to be one of the Premier League's most polarising players since joining the Reds from Benfica nearly two years ago. He has registered 33 goals and 17 assists in 92 matches for Liverpool, but has faced criticism for his wastefulness and lack of clinical edge.

Most recently, Nunez has come under fire for his performance in Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton on Tuesday, failing to convert a string of chances in a loss that is likely to prove fatal to his side's title hopes.

The Times report that Klopp has been a huge believer in Nunez and his departure this summer will see the Uruguayan lose one of his strongest allies at the club. When Liverpool were on the hunt for a new forward in the summer of 2022, their 'recruitment think-tank' wanted to sign France international Nkunku, but Klopp pushed for Nunez instead, bringing him in for an initial £64m fee that could yet reach £85m if add-ons are met.

Christopher Nkunku
Nkunku was Liverpool's alternative to Nunez / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Nunez had performed well against Liverpool in their Champions League quarter-final with Benfica during the latter stages of the 2021/22 season, scoring twice as the Portuguese side lost 6-4 on aggregate.

Nkunku, on the other hand, was coming off a sensational season with RB Leipzig, tallying 35 goals and 20 assists in 52 matches. He won the Bundesliga's Player of the Season award and led Leipzig to victory in the DFB-Pokal, while they also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Chelsea eventually agreed a £52m deal to sign Nkunku prior to the 2023/24 season but at the end of the summer 2022 transfer window. Injuries have restricted the forward to only 10 appearances for the Blues so far however, scoring twice in those games.