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Liverpool close to completing signing of Darwin Nunez for club record £85m

Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is close to joining Liverpool for a potential club record fee (Peter Byrne/PA)
Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is close to joining Liverpool for a potential club record fee (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool are close to completing the potential club record signing of Benfica striker Darwin Nunez in a deal which could be worth up to £85million.

After a week of talks over the structure of the deal, with the Portuguese club holding out for a 100m euros deal (£85m) with 80m euros (£68m) up front, the Reds’ new sporting director Julian Ward has negotiated a compromise.

The PA news agency understands Liverpool have agreed to pay an initial £64m (75m euros) with a possible £12.8m (15m euros) payable in appearance-related add-ons and £8.5m (10m euros) depending on team success.

Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is tackled by Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate
Darwin Nunez scored in both legs of Benfica’s Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool in April (Peter Byrne/PA)

If all conditions are met the 22-year-old Uruguay international’s transfer would eclipse the £75m paid to Southampton for centre-back Virgil van Dijk in January 2018.

Nunez, who was left out of Uruguay’s squad for Saturday’s 5-0 friendly victory over Panama, is expected to begin the formalities of a medical on Monday which could take until Wednesday to complete.

Personal terms are not anticipated to be a problem, with the player having expressed his desire to move to Liverpool and play for manager Jurgen Klopp despite interest from Manchester United, and the striker is set to sign a six-year contract.

Nunez scored 26 goals in 28 league appearances for Benfica last season and scored in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final against Klopp’s side in April.

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane looks set to join Bayern Munich (Adam Davy/PA)

He will arrive at Anfield as a direct replacement for Sadio Mane, who with one year left on his current looks set to move to Bayern Munich.

The club have already rejected two offers for the 30-year-old from the Bundesliga champions which they considered derisory and are holding out for a fee in excess of £40m for a player who scored 23 times last season.