Liverpool believe they have won race to sign Darwin Nunez

Graeme Bailey
Darwin Nunez is likely to head to Liverpool
Darwin Nunez is likely to head to Liverpool / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Liverpool believe they have won the race to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United, 90min understands.

United had been leading the chase for the prolific Uruguayan as Erik ten Hag looks to begin his Old Trafford rebuild, but a concerted effort from Liverpool during the last week has seen them jump to the head of the queue.

Sources close to the deal have now confirmed to 90min that Liverpool believe they have all but sealed the deal for Nunez, who scored 26 goals in 28 Primeira Liga games for Benfica last season and 34 in all competitions.

Nunez' representatives already have a broad agreement with Liverpool after the player decided that a move to Anfield was his preferred option, and 90min has learned that the offer of Champions League football and chance to challenge for the Premier League title helped sway his decision.

Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. This week Harry Symeou steps in for Scott and the trio discuss the futures of Bukayo Saka, Rafael Leao, Romelu Lukaku, Kalvin Phillips, Youri Tielemans, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and more.

Benfica have been seeking a deal worth €100m for Nunez with €20m of that in bonuses and add-ons, but the fee Liverpool will pay has not yet been finalised. There is, however, an expectation that the two sides will come to an agreement soon.

Sources have also indicated to 90min that Liverpool see Nunez as the perfect addition to their squad ahead of a likely departure for Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward does not wish to extend his contract on Merseyside, which has just a year to run, and he is expected to join Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich once they meet the Reds' valuation of the 30-year-old.

As for the other clubs interested in Nunez, United and Atletico Madrid, they have been informed of his decision to join Liverpool.