Newcastle United to increase transfer bid for highly-rated striker - reports

Newcastle United are preparing to increase their bid to sign Benfica’s highly-rated striker Darwin Nunez during the summer transfer window.

The Uruguayan International has become one of European’s football’s brightest prospects since he joined Benfica in a £21.6million move from Spanish side Almeria in September 2020.

Nunez has scored 37 goals in 72 games for the Lisbon giants over the last 18 months and that record includes 18 goals in as many Primeira Liga games this season.

He has also shone on European football’s biggest stage as he found the net in Champions League group fixtures against Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The 22-year-old featured highly on Newcastle’s list of transfer targets last month and there was speculation in Portugal they had lodged an official bid of around £41million for the striker - although that was not confirmed by the Magpies at any stage.

There were plans to pair another January addition Chris Wood with a younger striker and United could reignite their interest this summer once they have confirmed their Premier League status.

Portuguese outlet Record have reported the Magpies will return with a club record bid of over £50million to land the striker and will be “one of the most active” clubs in the race to secure his signature.

However, another outlet - Correio da Manha - believe Benfica could respond to Nunez’s form by increasing their asking price to around £67million.

That would make the striker the second highest sale in Benfica’s history - with the current record set at the £113million fee they received from Atletico Madrid for attacking midfielder Joao Felix.

The likes of Manchester United and Barcelona have also been linked with Nunez over the last 12 months.