Liverpool join Man Utd in Darwin Nunez transfer race as Jurgen Klopp targets £68m Benfica star to replace Sadio Mane

LIVERPOOL have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, according to reports.

The Reds are chasing a forward this summer with Sadio Mane set to leave.

Boss Jurgen Klopp admires £68million-rated Nunez having seen his side come up against him in the Champions League last season.

According to The Times, Liverpool hold an interest in the 22-year-old but are not willing to break the bank to sign him.

Benfica are hoping to use interest in Nunez to spark a bidding war.

Nunez is believed to covet Champions League football next season which could hand Liverpool the edge over United.

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The Reds are keen to exploit the Portuguese market if they can, having been delighted with the instant impact made by January recruit Luis Diaz.

Liverpool may also have to compete with moneybags Newcastle to sign Nunez.

But the impending £34m arrival of teen striker Hugo Ekitike to St James' Park may suggest that the Toon have decided to move in a different direction.

Nunez scored home and away against Liverpool in last season's Champions League quarter-finals.

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Asked about the Uruguayan after the tie, Klopp marvelled: "Extremely good looking boy, huh?

"And a decent player as well. Really good, really good.

"I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.

"He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it's a big career ahead of him."

Meanwhile, the Reds have turned down a £25m offer from Bayern Munich for wantaway forward Mane.

Liverpool are demanding a fee large enough to recruit a replacement – despite the Senegalese star having just one year remaining on his contract.

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