“On one condition” – Darwin Nunez gives Jurgen Klopp difficult condition to meet if he needs him at Anfield
Darwin Nunez will find slim pickings in the Liverpool dressing room if he arrives in what could be a club-record transfer this summer.
The Reds are locked in talks with Benfica officials to make the striker, who turns 23 this month, their marquee signing of the window. The Uruguay international is believed to have agreed terms over a five-year contract and it will cost Liverpool an initial £68million, which could rise to £85million with add-ons, to bring him to Anfield.
A big-money signing is often afforded the luxury of picking their squad number when they touch down in their new surroundings, especially given the revenue shirt sales generate. However, Nunez will find almost all of the numbers he has worn throughout his career already taken at Liverpool, should the transfer be completed.
He wears the No. 9 shirt – which is typically donned by a centre-forward – for Benfica and proved just why he is one of Europe’s most-coveted marksmen by plundering 34 goals across all competitions last season. At Liverpool, this jersey has been worn by Roberto Firmino for the last five seasons, ever since he vacated No. 11 upon Mohamed Salah’s arrival back in 2017.
Speaking of the No. 11 strip, this is typically the number Nunez has worn as he has racked up 11 caps and two goals for the Uruguay national team. But, as mentioned, Salah occupies this number at Liverpool and there appears to be no chance it will become available in the near future as he has confirmed he will be staying for next season.
Firmino, like Salah, has one year remaining on his contract with the Reds and is also expected to stay on Merseyside, so the chances of the No. 9 shirt becoming available are also slight at best. The same is true of the No. 21 strip – which Nunez wore for Spanish club Almeria before joining Benfica – as this is Kostas Tsimikas’ number.