Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Benfica forward Darwin Nunez after the Premier League club beat Manchester United to the Uruguay international.
Benfica confirmed a deal had been reached on Monday, and the 22-year-old has now been announced as the latest attacking arrival at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp continues to rebuild in forward areas following the arrivals of Luis Diaz and Fabio Carvalho in the last six months.
Nunez will likely be required to fill the potential void left by Sadio Mane, who is expected to leave the club this summer.
How much have Liverpool paid for Nunez?
Liverpool will pay Benfica £64 million ($79m) upfront to sign Nunez, and could pay up to another £21m ($26m) in add-ons.
Those add-ons range from scoring goals to winning the Champions League - it is likely Benfica will get at least £75m from Liverpool, as long as Nunez plays regularly.
Nunez's former club, Almeria, are due 20 percent of any profit Benfica make on the deal, and so with Benfica having signed him for €22m in 2020, Almeria will be due a windfall of at least €9m.
What is Nunez's contract length and salary at Liverpool?
Nunez has signed a six-year contract that will keep him at Liverpool until 2028.
His contract stands out as a significant long-term investment for Klopp's squad, as several key attackers are on deals that will expire at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Reports suggest that Nunez will earn around £5m ($6.1m) per year in salary, similar to Diaz and Jota rather than the top earners such as Salah, Firmino and Mane.
What shirt number will Nunez wear at Liverpool?
In their announcement video for the striker, the Reds confirmed Nunez will wear number 27 in the 2022-23 campaign at Anfield.
Who is new Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez?
Having come through the ranks at Uruguayan giants Penarol before starring for Almeria in the Spanish second division, Nunez proved himself as a prolific striker both in Portugal's top-flight and in the Champions League last season.
He scored 26 goals in 28 league appearances in 2021-22, while also finding the net on six occasions in the Europe.
As an out and out No 9, Nunez is a break from usual multi-positional forwards Liverpool have previously favoured, however his ability has convinced Klopp and his coaching team to evolve the squad to play to their new man's strengths.
The emerging star's two Champions League quarter-final displays against Liverpool helped convince Klopp of his ability; at the time, the manager made a point to publicly praise the young forward.
“Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate," Klopp explained.
“He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.”
How did Liverpool secure the signing of Nunez?
Nunez was a target for at least one other Premier League club, with Man Utd heavily linked, however Liverpool moved quickly and decisively to get their man.
Klopp and his coaches identified Nunez as their No 1 summer target, and assistant sporting director Julian Ward flew to Portugal to ensure the deal was finalised quickly.
It is another example of Liverpool's strength in the Portuguese market, following the signing of Diaz from Porto in January.
Securing the deal early in the transfer window also means Nunez will have a full pre-season to settle into life at Liverpool, particularly useful as he currently does not speak English.
What has Nunez said about his move to Liverpool?
Speaking to his new club's website, Nunez said: “It’s a pleasure to be here in Liverpool and I’m very happy to be a part of this great club.
“I’ve played against Liverpool and I’ve seen them in lots of games in the Champions League, and it’s my style of play. There are some great players here and I think it’s going to suit my style of play here.
“As I say, I’ve watched quite a lot and it’s a very big club and I hope I can give everything that I’ve got in order to help the team.
“When I arrived at the training ground, I was really surprised to see the set-up and the structure and all the trophies here
“You can then imagine yourself winning more trophies and then later on when you come here again and see the trophies on display, you can say, ‘Look, I was a part of that, I was there at that time, winning trophies.’
“That’s one of the reasons why I came here to Liverpool – to win trophies and titles. I want to win a lot of trophies at Liverpool.”
Liverpool's Nunez gamble could lead to a new Suarez
GOAL's Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones writes...
A big transfer fee, and a sizeable gamble on Liverpool's part.
There is no doubting Nunez's talent or his potential, and Klopp is banking on the Uruguayan fulfilling it on Merseyside over the next few years.
With Mane set to leave, with Roberto Firmino in decline and with Manchester City fixing their own striking hole with the brilliant Erling Haaland, LiverpooI need this signing to work, and quickly.
If Nunez can bring his Benfica form to Anfield, then Klopp's second great team will really start to take shape.
Having taken the plunge successfully on the likes of Diogo Jota and Diaz recently, and on Mane and Mohamed Salah before that, Liverpool's recruitment team deserves to be trusted this time too.
The fee is high, and so are the stakes, but Nunez represents the future as well as the present, and both are exciting and filled with possibilities.
And hey, a Uruguayan forward at Liverpool... it's worked before, hasn't it?
Where will Nunez play for Liverpool?
Nunez will be expected to play through the middle for the Reds, with Diaz and Salah deployed on either side of him in Klopp's first-choice team - assuming Mane departs.GOAL
He is a more traditional striker than Liverpool have used in recent years, offering the instinct and shot conversion the team desires.
He has been known to play from the left on very rare occasions, but that is unlikely to come into play, with Jota able to be the versatile forward Klopp needs.
Who will Liverpool sign after Nunez?
Liverpool are now expected to turn their attention to signing Aberdeen's Calvin Ramsay, the 18-year-old right-back who would be back-up to first-choice Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool are looking to pay around £4m ($5m) for the teenager, but are Aberdeen reportedly want around £9m ($11m) for their homegrown talent.
The Reds have already had a busy summer, having brought in Fulham attacker Fabio Carvalho and re-signed James Milner to a one-year contract, while they may also look to extend Salah's deal before the end of the summer.