Manchester United have been handed a blow in the race to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, Portuguese outlet A Bola claims.
The Red Devils are planning to sign a new centre-forward this summer, and Nunez is reportedly one of the top names on their wishlist.
In recent weeks, it has been highlighted that United are one of the best positioned clubs to sign Nunez, but that does not seem the case.
According to A Bola (h/t SportWitness), United are no longer top contenders for Nunez, who wants to be playing in the Champions League.
He is resisting interest from United and Newcastle for this reason. Real Madrid are now touted as potential favourites to land his services.
Benfica have set an asking price of around €100 million for the striker.
Nunez was in outstanding form for Benfica in the recent campaign, registering 34 goals and four assists from just 41 appearances.
He scored Champions League goals against Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, thus providing himself on the big European stage.
At 22, Nunez still has room for progress. With his mobility, speed and versatility to play out wide, he would be a perfect signing for United.
However, we have always said that the club would find it hard to convince him particularly after their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
It has now become the very reason for his lack of interest. In our opinion, Benfica could be using United’s name to entice other suitors.
With a huge outlay required, there is a high possibility that United may look elsewhere as they need to be smart with their summer spending.
A new striker is a definite priority for the club, but there are also plans to bring in a central defender, right-back and a holding midfielder.
Considering this, Madrid are probably best placed to land Nunez after Mbappe snubbed them for a new Paris Saint-Germain contract.
Los Blancos have also missed out on Erling Braut Haaland this summer, and Nunez could be seen as the marquee striker signing for them.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com