Chelsea rejected last summer with shock Darwin Nunez 'enquiry'

  • Nunez was linked with a move away from Liverpool in 2023
  • Chelsea enquiry over Nunez swiftly knocked back
  • Uruguay international has impressed this season under Jurgen Klopp

Chelsea enquired about Nunez during the summer
Chelsea enquired about Nunez during the summer / Gaspafotos/MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea made an enquiry about the availability of Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez last summer, a new report has claimed.

The Blues have been working to bolster their forward line for years now and added both Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson to their squad last summer, with the plan always to pursue a big-name striker in 2024. Victor Osimhen of Napoli remains the top target.

However, last summer, rumours in Spain emerged suggesting Liverpool were prepared to cash in on Nunez after just one season in a deal which would have sent him to Atletico Madrid in exchange for Joao Felix, and The Times note that Chelsea sporting director Paul Winstanley was made aware of those rumours.

Winstanley is a known admirer of Nunez dating back to his time in charge of Brighton & Hove Albion's recruitment. Only Covid-19 complications got in the way of a deal to sign him in 2020 when Nunez was still playing in the second tier of Spanish football, and Winstanley tried again 12 months later even after he had moved to Benfica.

Curious as to whether one of his favourite forwards was actually available or not, Winstanley is said to have reached out to Liverpool to learn more about the situation, only to be swiftly informed that the Reds had no interest in losing Nunez and there was no truth to the rumours.

Darwin Nunez
Nunez could have joined Brighton before Liverpool / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Nunez has enjoyed an impressive season so far, notching 13 goals and 11 assists in all competitions to add yet another weapon to Liverpool's vast arsenal. He has usually been deployed as a central striker but has also spent time out on the left wing.

As for Chelsea, they are yet to see the best of Nkunku after a knee injury kept him sidelined for the majority of the campaign to date, but Jackson has enjoyed a solid debut season in England. The 22-year-old has nine goals and three assists to his name heading into Sunday's Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Chelsea are planning to pursue another big-name striker in the summer and are among the leading suitors of Osimhen, whose Napoli contract contains a release clause worth over £100m.

Romelu Lukaku, the last superstar striker to arrive at Chelsea, is among those likely to be sold this summer to help fund such a move. Originally recruited for £97.5m, the Belgian will be available for just £37m when his loan with Roma comes to an end.