- Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez is on the cusp of joining Premier League outfit Liverpool but could have been a player for FC Barcelona
- Ex-Barcelona striker Luis Suarez recommended his compatriot to his former employers with a price tag of £15 million but the Catalan giants budged at the move
- The 22-year-old's meteoric rise from Uruguay to mainstream Europe means Benfica will recoup the €24.5 million splashed on Nunez in 2020 and bag home a handsome profit from his move to Liverpool
Uruguayan international Darwin Nunez could have been on the roster of FC Barcelona instead of swapping the Portuguese top-flight for the allure of the Premier League.
Nunez has hogged the headlines as one of the budding top talents owing to his outstanding performances in the just-concluded season.
The 22-year-old striker scored 34 times in 41 appearances across all competitions for Benfica last season, including six goals in UCL games, two scored against Liverpool - his imminent new employers.
With growing reports suggesting a looming move for Nunez to Liverpool, the young goal poacher could have been leading the lines for Barcelona if the Catalan giants had heeded the advice of Luis Suarez.
Suarez, formerly of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, suggested Nunez to the Blaugrana after watching his compatriot at Almeria but Barca felt he was too young for a move.
Barca's loss was Benfica's gain, who will be making in excess of €80 million in his sale to Liverpool.
"When [Nunez] was at Almeria, I told Barcelona about him," Suarez admitted to journalist Gerard Romero in 2021 as quoted by GOAL.
"They asked me and I said, 'Keep an eye on this one, he's got something interesting about him...' But they replied 'No, he's in Almeria, he's too young.'
"But instead of now having to pay £80m, £90m or £100m, they would have paid £15m or £20m for him back then."
Panic at Anfield as another Liverpool star gets green light to leave the Premier League club this summer
According to transfer market specialist Fabrizio Romano, Benfica has reached an agreement with Liverpool for the sale of Darwin Nunez until 2028, pending a medical at a fee of €75m fee plus add-ons to reach a €100 million package.
Darwin Nunez rejects move to Man United
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Darwin Nunez has rejected advances from Manchester United. The Benfica striker has been a top transfer target for The Red Devils but reports have now emerged that he is choosing to hold on for better offers.
Nunez has caught the attention of top clubs and the world of football as a whole with his top performances this season. He has bagged 32 goals in all competitions.
Nunez is believed to be discouraged by United's lack of Champions League football next season. United are set to compete in the UEFA Europa League after a shambolic campaign that saw them change managers mid-season.