Benfica have rejected Manchester United’s massive opening bid for striker Darwin Nunez, according to a leading Portuguese journalist.
Nunez is believed to be United’s top striker target this summer, having completed a fantastic season in Portugal where he scored 34 goals in 41 games.
Yesterday it was reported that the Red Devils had lodged a bid worth €105 million (£89m) for the player, made up of €75 million in instalments, €20 million in achievable bonuses plus a player worth €10 million – with Andreas Pereira mooted.
However, speaking on CMTV last night via Correio de Manha, the highly regarded Paulo Catarro explained that while the overall value of the bid was acceptable, the cash portion was not enough.
Catarro claims that Benfica have already rejected the bid and told United that it was too complicated.
“Benfica have already told those responsible at United that the deal requires more money’”, he said.
“Ultimately a bonus package can be included but involving players such as Andreas Pereira would be difficult.”
If true, whilst this is a rejection, Benfica’s response will also offer United plenty of encouragement.
The suggestion is that an extra €10 million (£8.5m) in cash rather than a player could seal the deal.
Although outgoing head of transfers Matt Judge is believed to be still involved in negotiations, a new negotiation team is now in place at United.
Incoming CEO Richard Arnold has replaced former executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and John Murtough has been installed as director of football.
United fans will hope that the changes will result in swifter and smoother negotations and the opening bid reportedly lodged certainly seems to be more pragmatic than the generally insulting ones with which Woodward and Judge used to open.