Sport Social speak with The Guardian writer Dan Harris on whether Liverpool's new £85m man was a loss for United.

It is a deal which has raised many eyebrows as Liverpool pushed on to complete – what could be – their club record signing should Darwin Nunez prove to be a success at the club.

A fee of £65m plus add-ons centred around appearances and success at Anfield could allow the deal to reach £85m – eclipsing the £75m the Merseyside club paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018.

With Manchester United known to be needing striking reinforcements, the club reportedly pulled the plug on the deal due to their refusal to engage in a bidding war with their rivals.

So – is the failed capture of Nunez a major loss to Manchester United? We put the question to United Rewind’s Dan Harris who spoke with Sport Social.

Darwin Nunez joins Liverpool on a six-year deal for a fee rising to £85m. Image: Press Association

Joel Tudor | Sport Social

We see a striker situation which is quite interesting – the young Benfica forward Darwin Nunez has moved to Liverpool for £65m rising to £85 million – despite Manchester United’s interest. Is this a major loss on Manchester United’s end, particularly with the lack of striking options and top strikers in world football at the moment?


“No, I don’t think so. Ultimately, it’s not a situation like Haaland and Bellingham which are players United lost out on recently. The only thing that was amazing about those two was it was only Dortmund and United in for them and the whole football world knew they both were trying to sign them because they look like generational talents.

With Nunez it’s not quite as clear. I mean, it’s a reflection of the times where if United and Liverpool are in for a player, I think the player is almost definitely going to go to Liverpool.

The only thing I guess that may have stopped him is I think he’d probably be given more football at United whereas at Liverpool he’s competing for a place with Salah, Jota and Diaz. At United he’d basically be rotated with Ronaldo more or less.

Frenkie de Jong has been the subject of talks between Manchester United and Barcelona as the Catalan club attempt to raise funds. Image: PA

If I was in charge of United’s budget, Frenkie de Jong is the first player I’d try and buy and with whatever money I had next I would buy another midfield.

I do think we [Manchester United] need another forward, but I think that you’d get a lot more out of the forwards that you’ve already got and a lot more out of the defenders that you’ve already got.

Whereas if you’ve got De Jong, Bruno and one of the current lot [of midfielders] you’re still thinking, is that a midfield that can control the game? United’s main problems have been their inability to control games.”

You can listen to Dan Harris’ podcast ‘United Rewind’ here – where they revisit classic – and not so classic – United matches, discussing the context, the characters, the atmosphere and the action. Follow Dan on Twitter here

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About the author

Joel Tudor

Digital Sports Journalist for Sport Social and writer of words. A feature on the Football Social Daily Podcast. Slightly biased towards Manchester United.
Follow @mrjoeltudor on Twitter

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