Home News How Liverpool rejected Chelsea ‘enquiry’ over Darwin Nunez

How Liverpool rejected Chelsea ‘enquiry’ over Darwin Nunez

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Chelsea‘s scattergun hunt for a new No. 9 saw them make an enquiry for Darwin Nunez, which Liverpool swiftly rejected as he remains a key player at Anfield.

Since his arrival on Merseyside for a club-record fee, Nunez has garnered more scrutiny from rival fans and the media than almost any other player.

But the Uruguayan has been and continues to be an unbridled success, with 28 goals and 15 assists in 79 games so far, averaging a goal contribution every 105 minutes.

This season, Nunez is averaging a goal or assist every 89.5 minutes, while across the Premier League, no player is averaging more shots on target per 90 than his 2.15.

He still attracts criticism for his misses, but Nunez is an indispensable player for Jurgen Klopp – and likely will be for his successor.

That did not stop Chelsea testing Liverpool’s stance on their No. 9 last summer, however, according to the Times‘ Paul Joyce.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 10, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joyce reports that Nunez was subject of an enquiry from Stamford Bridge – as part of the renovation work led by new owner Todd Boehly – which was promptly turned down.

This came amid “speculation within the football industry” that Liverpool would cut their losses with Nunez, including claims of a possible “loan-swap deal” for Joao Felix.

Chelsea‘s co-sporting director Paul Winstanley was encouraged by this gossip to contact Liverpool over a possible deal, which speaks volumes of the club’s transfer strategy.

Since their takeover in 2022, Chelsea have looked to play real-life Football Manager, with ridiculous transfer fees and longer-than-usual contracts, seemingly with little joined-up thinking.

It led the Blues to beat Liverpool to the signings of both Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, though neither has paid off so far.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez prepares to take a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The prospect of Nunez playing for the London club is a strange one, particularly as it would have gone against Klopp’s commitment to developing players.

While the 24-year-old endured a frustrating first season in England at times, he has continued to show why he is considered one of the best attacking talents in Europe.

This season, only Mohamed Salah (19 goals, 10 assists) has directly contributed to more goals for Liverpool than Nunez (13 goals, 11 assists), with no player creating more.

Chelsea went on to sign Nicolas Jackson for a fee of around £30 million, with the Senegal striker signing an eight-year deal to accompany the arrival of Christopher Nkunku.