Liverpool sign Nunez from Benfica for potential club-record fee
One of the most exciting young forwards in football has officially joined Liverpool.
Liverpool agreed to pay as much as €100 million, or £85 million, to complete the acquisition, Benfica said in a statement. The deal includes an initial €75 million (£64 million) up-front and a potential €25 million (£21 million) in performance-related bonuses.
"It's a pleasure to be here in Liverpool and I'm very happy to be a part of this great club," Nunez said. "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 ... I want to win a lot of trophies at Liverpool."
Nunez opted to join Jurgen Klopp's side over Manchester United, who apparently expressed interest in the Uruguayan international before their rivals hijacked the negotiations.
The 22-year-old signed a long-term contract with the Reds.
Nunez will likely replace Sadio Mane in Klopp's lineup and form a devastating attacking triumvirate with Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah. Mane is reportedly ready to move to Bayern Munich after claiming all there is to win over six trophy-laden seasons with Liverpool.
Fans can expect the same high-tempo, energetic performances from Nunez, who scored 32 goals in 38 appearances in the Primeira Liga and Champions League last season. Over the past two years in Portugal, Nunez showed an appetite to track back and dribble in the channel, often drifting to the left like Mane.
Two of Nunez's goals came in Benfica's Champions League quarterfinal defeat to Liverpool in April. The showing was enough to give Klopp a good first impression.
"He has all the pieces we look for. He can set a tempo, he brings energy, he can threaten space from central and wide areas. He is aggressive and dynamic with his movement," Klopp said after Nunez was unveiled Tuesday.
"We have wonderful attacking options already and he becomes part of that now. So there is no pressure on him at all. He signs for a very long time and we intend to nurture his talent and see it grow."
Klopp also complimented Diaz before signing him from Porto in January for a reported £37 million. The Colombian winger played in both of Porto's Champions League games against Liverpool in the group stage.