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Chelsea ‘join race’ for Benfica ‘sensation’ Darwin Núñez — report

Many eyes on the young striker

SL Benfica v Belenenses SAD - Liga NOS Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

According to Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness), Chelsea are one of the many clubs interested in young striker Darwin Núñez of Benfica, joining a whole host of top sides from around Europe, such as Manchester United, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and PSG.

Why is everyone interested in the 22-year-old “sensation”?

Núñez has made a stellar start to his second season at Benfica with 6 goals in 8 matches in all competitions, nearly half as many already as last year’s 14 goals (and 12 assists) in 44 appearances tally. While the 6’1” tall striker can play as a traditional number-nine, his ability to drop deeper and open up spaces for onrushing teammates has also led to him being tried as a shadow striker. He scored a brace in Benfica’s 3-0 drubbing of Barcelona last week in a Man of the Match performance.

Núñez’s contract at Benfica, which contains a €105m release clause, runs through 2025, and they are in no hurry to sell, having already rejected a €32m offer from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer.

They’re happy to wait for his value to go up, and Núñez is happy to wait for now as well, as his agent recently revealed.

“Darwin is ready to play in any team on the globe. Various top-level teams have contacted us, but for the moment the head is on continuing and growing with Benfica and with the Uruguayan national team: this is how important things will come.

“The important thing is that he is happy now and wants to repay the trust of Benfica and the affection of the people by winning a title. We’ll discuss the transfer possibilities with the club executives if necessary, as it should be. For the moment we’re calm and happy to see him on the pitch.”

-Edgardo Lasalvia; source: FC Inter News via Sport Witness

Chelsea may have “joined the race”, but this race has barely begun.

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