Brighton face competition from a club in the Champions League in the race to sign Darwin Nunez – although the Seagulls may have one notable advantage to potentially tip the scales in their favour.
Sky Sports reported that Benfica, who finished second in the Portuguese top flight last season, are also interested in the striker, who was initially linked with Brighton last week by Spanish media outlet La Voz de Almería.
However, as noted by Sky Sports, the Sussex outfit already have a strong relationship with the 21-year-old’s club Almeria, having signed Leonardo Ulloa and Tomer Hemed from the Spanish second tier side.
Nunez has put himself in the shop window by scoring 16 goals for Almeria as they narrowly missed out on promotion to La Liga, beaten by Girona in the play-offs over the last week. He has an average of a goal every other game, having made 32 league appearances in the 2019/20 campaign.
The youngster also had an international debut to remember, scoring within five minutes of his introduction as a subsitute for Uruguay in their 1-1 draw against Peru last October (as per TransferMarkt).
According to La Voz de Almería, Brighton are willing to offer around €15m (£13.5m) for the striker, although that falls 25% short of Almeria’s reported asking price of €20m (£18m).
The Seagulls have fared reasonably well with their previous attacking acquisitions from the Segunda Division club. Ulloa hit a respectable 28 goals in 70 appearances across two spells at the Amex Stadium, half of which came in the 2013/14 Championship season (via TransferMarkt). Hemed managed 33 goals in 108 games in Sussex, including 11 in the promotion-winning 2016/17 campaign (via TransferMarkt).
Brighton’s existing relationship with Almeria could give them the edge over Benfica in the chase for Nunez, who may have a better chance of playing regularly at the Amex than for a club in the Champions League like the Lisbon outfit.
Do you think Brighton will sign Darwin Nunez?
However, the Uruguayan’s only top-flight previous has come in his native country, and with no prior experience in England, a fee of £18m could represent a significant gamble on Brighton’s part, particularly with football clubs’ finances set to be restricted amid the global pandemic.
Brighton fans, do you think Nunez would be a good addition at the Amex? Comment below with your views!
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