Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Magpies in the race for European hotshot

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According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Newcastle United haven’t given up on luring Benfica striker Darwin Nunez to the club.

The Telegraph placed Nunez among the top names that Eddie Howe is targeting this summer, but with an £85m asking price now being touted, it could be a case of seeking alternatives. 

The Uruguayan sharp-shooter is expected to leave Portugal, according to journalist Cesar Luiz Merlo (via SportsMole) having arrived in 2020 from Spanish club Almeria in a club-record deal worth £21.6m.

After a breakout season that saw the 22-year-old score 34 goals in 40 appearances this season, including six times in the Champions League, the club look set to land a hefty profit, and despite interest from both Liverpool and Manchester United, Jones says Newcastle won’t be deterred from tabling a bid.

He told GiveMeSport: “I think they’re still in the conversation around that. But Calvert-Lewin, if they were to get someone from the Premier League, then I think Calvert-Lewin is one that they would be pretty confident of fitting in and scoring goals.

“But now that Everton have stayed up, it’s a question of what’s he got in mind and what’s his valuation going to be?”

TIF Thoughts on Newcastle’s options…

Interestingly, the striker has even clocked in faster than Allan Saint-Maximin, with the Frenchman not featuring in the top five speeds clocked in the Premier League, whilst Darwin Nunez would’ve clocked in third position based on his appearances in the Champions League.

The Telegraph recently revealed that the north-east club were preparing a bid for Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and he does seem the more likely striker to arrive on Tyneside, based on Jones’ comments.

Given the potential suitors for Nunez, who has been described as a ‘beast’, it could be argued that he would reject a move to St James’ Park in order to play Champions League football, while Football Insider reported back in April that the Toffees would listen to offers for Calvert-Lewin even if the club stayed in the Premier League.

Despite an underwhelming season and injury trouble, the Englishman has displayed his scoring prowess in the top flight before.

Almost half of the 11-cap England international’s Premier League goals have come via his head, making him a tremendous focal point – while he finished sixth in the scoring charts during the 2020/21 season, netting 16 times. 

Former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud said he is one of the few left in the Premier League with an art for heading, and Newcastle would certainly benefit from his services if they have to look elsewhere from Nunez.

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