Premier League

Guardiola looking to Darwin Nunez to replace Aguero

The Uruguay striker's form at Benfica has attracted the interest of Barcelona but Pep Guardiola sees the 21-year-old as a perfect replacement for Agüero.

Darwin Núñez en un partido con el Benfica.
Darwin Núñez Twitter

Manchester City have secured the services of Pep Guardiola until 2023 at least after he signed a contract extension at the Etihad and now the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has turned his attention to the medium-term future of his attack. Sergio Agüero is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to commit to new deal but the Argentina striker will be 33 before the 2021-22 campaign kicks off and question marks remain in Guardiola’s mind over the viability of Gabriel Jesus as a long-term successor with City joining Barça in keeping a very close eye on Benfica talent Darwin Núñez.

Núñez following in footsteps of Cavani and Luis Suárez

Darwin Nuñez celebra un tanto a Colombia junto a sus compañeros en el reciente parón.

City have been mulling moves for the likes of Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku according to reports in the UK but the cost of such operations may prove prohibitive and neither striker is agitating for a move. Kane is Tottenham’s figurehead and Spurs are in good shape under José Mourinho while Lukaku is enjoying life at Inter Milan. Núñez, who is emerging as a successor to Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez at international level with two goals in four appearances for Uruguay, represents a more accessible option given Benfica’s financial position and the Portuguese club’s traditional willingness to cash in on prize assets.

Núñez emerged as a prospect at Peñarol and made a less-trodden move to LaLiga to join second-tier Almería in 2019. A record of a goal every two games (16 in 32) for the Spanish side convinced Benfica to part with a club record €25m for his signature last summer and the 21-year-old has hit the ground running in Primeira Liga, scoring five and providing six assists in 11 appearances for the Eagles.

The striker’s value will rocket if he continues in a similar vein and his status as a full international and a five-year contract at the Estádio da Luz will add a few digits but he will still be one of the most coveted players on the market next summer if Benfica decide to make him available and well within the financial reach of Manchester City.