Man Utd target Darwin Nunez responds to Jurgen Klopp after scoring against Liverpool

Liverpool v Benfica: Match in pictures

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Manchester United target Darwin Nunez has insisted that he remains focused on performing for Benfica despite taking Jurgen Klopp’s glowing praise as a ‘compliment’ after scoring against Liverpool on Wednesday evening. Nunez equalised for Benfica late on in their Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash against Liverpool at Anfield, with the Reds ultimately progressing on aggregate to book their place in the last four of this season’s tournament.

Klopp was full of high praise for Nunez after the final whistle as he waxed lyrical over the in-demand Benfica star, who has been widely tipped to seek a new challenge ahead of next season. However, the player himself moved quickly to affirm his commitment to Benfica despite acknowledging the Liverpool manager’s kind words after his productive showing at Anfield.

“What the Liverpool coach said, as well as our coach, I take it as a compliment, but my mind is on Benfica,” Nunez told TVI. “Until the season is over, I won’t say anything, and I’ll leave everything for this shirt.

“My job is to continue like this, to take advantage of this luck that is happening to me. Last year I didn’t play at all, but this year I’m having an incredible season. I have to continue like this, and there is also a lot of merit from my colleagues.”

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Nunez has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest talents over the course of this season and has been linked with summer moves to United, Arsenal and Tottenham in recent weeks. He has chipped in with 31 goals in all competitions since the beginning of the campaign and remains tied down to Benfica until 2025 after penning a long-term deal upon his arrival from Almeria back in 2020.

The 22-year-old caught the eye against Liverpool as a result of his composure on the ball and impressive physical attributes that were on full display over the course of the match. However, former Reds winger Steve McManaman responded by warning that Nunez still has plenty to work on in order to establish himself as one of the world’s very best strikers over the coming years.

“I think he will move on, no disrespect to the Portuguese league and Benfica, but they will probably look to sell him,” McManaman told BT Sport. “There are only a number of clubs that can probably pay the asking price for him, and he may even turn up in the Premier League.

“He’s almost a rough diamond, there is still a lot to work on and a lot to improve on, but his movement is excellent and his goal against Liverpool [in the first leg] was a really composed finish. There is a lot to like about him but he is nowhere near the finished article yet.”

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