MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly plotting a double transfer swoop for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez and Everton forward Richarlison.
United face the prospect of losing FOUR strikers this summer.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s futures are uncertain, while Edinson Cavani is set to leave for free, plus Cristiano Ronaldo may also leave in pursuit of Champions League football next season.
And the Red Devils’ hierarchy believe Nunez and Richarlison can fill the void if the quartet leave the club, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Although he says incoming boss Erik ten Hag will need to give the green light to pursue the pair.
Ten Hag, who’s been handed a £100m war chest to fix United’s woes, has been preoccupied with bringing the Dutch title to Ajax.
And now that Ten Hag’s clinched the Eredivisie with the Dutch giants, he can give his undivided attention to the job at hand with Man United.
Romano said, speaking to Wondergoal before Ten Hag’s third consecutive title win: “What I’ve been told is that his (Darwin Nunez) name has been discussed internally, at Manchester United.
“Richarlison and Darwin Nunez are two names that they’re discussing internally at Man Utd.
“But the final decision will be by Erik ten Hag. So we need to wait a bit as he’s still fighting with Ajax to win the Eredivisie and then he will be focused on new signings.”
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But Nunez, who’s one of the most wanted strikers in Europe at the moment with 26 goals in 28 Liga Portugal games this season, won’t come cheap.
United will need to cough up between £63-68m to get Benfica to the negotiating table.
And Benfica have no issue playing hardball as West Ham found out when their £40m bid was rejected by the Portuguese giants who were holding out for £46m on the transfer deadline day in January.
However, if United can find the funds, they should be in with a chance of signing Nunez who Romano believes is destined to leave Portugal this summer.
Nunez’s agent is close to Jorge Mendes who represents Ronaldo, and Romano thinks that will play a role in where the Uruguayan ends up next season.
He added: “I’m really curious to see what happens with Darwin Nunez because I see him leaving Benfica this summer. I’m sure.
“It will depend on the price because, for example, in January on deadline day, West Ham made a proposal of €45 million and it was turned down because Benfica wanted €55 million.
“Now I think with €55 million, you are absolutely not buying him. So, what is needed is around €75-80 million for Darwin Nunez, to open negotiations with Benfica.
“He has a new agent that is really close to Jorge Mendes so it’s gonna change the future of the player.
“So, everything is absolutely open but I’m sure Darwin will be ready to leave Benfica in the summer and make a big move in the summer.
“He’s the most interesting one (in the striker domino). It is a really, really open situation.”
Unfortunately for United, Paris Saint-Germain are another club chasing the 22-year-old.
And the French titans have already reportedly approached Benfica over Nunez’s availability.
Romano continued: “For sure Darwin Nunez is a player that is on Man Utd’s list.
“Then let’s see if he’ll be able to do it as many clubs are interested.
“For example, PSG had some conversations to explore a potential price for Darwin Nunez.”
But Everton ace Richarlison is another target United have set their sights on.
The Brazilian has played a key role in Everton’s fight for Prem survival recently.
However, Romano reckons the 25-year-old will be open for a move elsewhere when the season concludes.
He insisted: “Richarlison, I’m sure he will be one of the names in the summer, part of this striker domino.
“He’s committed on this Everton mission of staying in the Premier League but then he has a new agency now working with him and this is a message like, ‘okay, I’m ready to explore the market this summer.'”
“I’m told that Man Utd have already discussed his name internally. He’s a player that could be an option for Man Utd.
“We mentioned Darwin Nunez, we mentioned Richarlison, because at the end of the season, it (the decision) will be made by Erik ten Hag.
“But he’s (Richarlison) always been a player in the Man Utd borders of potential opportunity and now the summer will be an opportunity to sign him.
“Many clubs could be on him but I see Richarlison leaving the club, honestly, because he’s prepared to look at proposals.”
But United’s Prem rivals Tottenham are also keen on snagging Richarlison and the North Londoners will have the edge in negotiations if they manage to bag the final Champions League spot.