Jose Mourinho keen to test Liverpool resolve with $75m approach but transfer unlikely

Jose Mourinho wants to test Liverpool's nerve with a bid for Darwin Nunez
-Credit: (Image: 2017 CameraSport)

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez could be subject to an optimistic transfer bid from Turkish team Fenerbahce, who are now managed by legendary coach Jose Mourinho.

Nunez, 25, has 20 goals in 65 Premier League appearances since joining Liverpool in the summer of 2022 when he arrived from Portuguese team Benfica for a club-record $107.5 million. Nunez has already become a fan favorite and supporters are expecting the Uruguayan to make a statement in the league next season following an impressive run in Copa America this summer.

But Liverpool may have to first reject an audacious bid from Turkey, with Fenerbahce entertaining a $75 million offer according to Turkish outlet Ajansspor, via KOPTALK. The report claims that Mourinho, who has been a long-term admirer of Nunez, has spoken to his agent Jorge Mendes to discuss his availability.

Not only would the rumored $75 million fee not be enough for Liverpool to entertain, but it would also dwarf Fenerbahce's current transfer record. Throughout its history, Fenerbahce's record signing is Cengiz Under, who joined from French giants Marseille in a deal worth $16.2 million.

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Fenerbahce is looking for a new center-forward with Edin Dzeko reaching the end of his playing days, and Michy Batshuayi leaving the club following the expiry of his two-year contract. Mourinho is feeling hopeful ahead of his new venture in Turkey but may have to be more realistic in the transfer market.

Mourinho actively looked to sign Nunez when he was head coach of Tottenham but wasn't given the financial backing to complete a deal. At the time, Nunez was playing in Spain with UD Almeria, but Benfica quickly swooped in and signed the forward for $26 million.

Almeria made almost $20 million in profit from the sale after signing him for a minor $6 million fee initially, and Benfica later made a $80 million profit once Liverpool came calling. Mourinho has coached some of the finest, and richest, teams in world soccer but will need to adapt to his new role.

However, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach is up for the challenge and wants to change how the world sees Turkish soccer. "One of the things is, I bring attention in with me. More people in Europe will follow the Turkish league," Mourinho said. "My wish is that Turkish soccer improves at every level."

He then focused on his aims with Fenerbahce and added: "By winning. For me, Fenerbahce means ambition. The fans don't need to be patient, they need to be mad, and they have to be demanding. If the players cannot deal with that pressure they don't belong at Fenerbahce. I want that passion. I want the players to trust me, to know that I am very honest, very direct, sometimes not the nicest guy but always honest with them."

Mourinho has already started making decisions over the current roster, but Nunez is very unlikely to become part of it.