Why are the media pretending Manchester United can challenge Liverpool for Nunez?

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Darwin Nunez in action for Uruguay Credit: PA Images
Darwin Nunez in action for Uruguay Credit: PA Images

For sales and clicks obviously, but we are talking about a 34-point gap between two teams in different stratospheres and Darwin Nunez has a choice…

 

Living in the past
Newspapers are a bit of an anachronism so it’s little wonder that they often yearn for simpler times when men were men, women were women, Freddie Starr could command a front page and Manchester United still operated in the same stratosphere as Liverpool and Manchester City.

In case you were not paying attention over a very long season of domestic football, Manchester United ended that campaign fully 34 points behind Liverpool. Over the last five seasons, the cumulative points gap is 97 points. They ended 21/22 far closer in points to relegated Burnley than second-placed Liverpool.

So when we see back pages like this…

…we cannot help but be amused that any perceived battle for Darwin Nunez is pitched as a ‘TRANSFER TUG-OF-WAR’. If this is a transfer tug-of-war, it is between the England rugby side and the lovely but very much beta males of Football365.

We cannot pretend this is a scientific study, but if Liverpool and Manchester United both want a player, there is no transfer tug-of-war. There is no battle. Only acquiescence.

‘KLOPP’S DARWIN’? It’s not a fight he could DARLOSE, guys.

The story begins:

‘JURGEN KLOPP is confident he will beat Manchester United to land hitman Darwin Nunez.’

No shit. This is 2022 and there is literally zero chance of any player wanted by both Liverpool and Manchester United choosing the latter. Zero chance.

Thankfully, The Sun have an explanation for this grand victory (that is not that Manchester United finished sixth, have no chance of a title challenge in the next two years and can only offer Europa League football):

‘Nunez, 22, is also a target for new United boss Erik ten Hag but they do not want to be dragged into a bidding war.’

Lucky escape, Liverpool.

 

Well done Manchester United
And what can we draw from Manchester United not wanting to get dragged into a bidding war that they could absolutely never win? As the Daily Mirror and other reports make very clear, ‘Nunez has already told his club he wants a move to Liverpool’. How is it even a ‘bidding war’ if the object you are bidding on can ultimately veto the sale. Manchester United could bid £20m more than Liverpool and it would mean nothing if Darwin Nunez looked at that squad at that club, paused for half a second and then said ‘nah’.

What we can draw if we are desperately looking for Manchester United clicks is that ‘Darwin Nunez transfer ‘reluctance’ shows Man Utd have learnt from Jamie Carragher blast’.

Oh Mirror website, you really are spoiling us.

It turns out that the ‘reluctance’ is not on the part of Nunez himself but on Manchester United, who apparently read a column from Jamie Carragher in October 2021 and vowed on the spot that they would never make the same mistakes again.

‘The apparent ‘reluctance’ from Manchester United to be drawn into a bidding war over Darwin Nunez suggests that the Red Devils have finally learnt from their failed business.’

It really, really doesn’t. It suggests that they have realised that they cannot compete on transfers with a club who have just come within two whiskers of winning an unprecedented quadruple.

‘Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, United have been one of the Premier League’s biggest spenders. But they do not have a single league title to show for that spending and have not won a trophy since Jose Mourinho’s time in charge at Old Trafford.

‘A new regime is now in place in Manchester though, with Erik ten Hag taking over as manager and Richard Arnold becoming the club’s chief executive. As they begin to decide the direction they want to take United in, the duo may keep in mind criticism that Jamie Carragher handed out to the Red Devils last October, following Newcastle’s mega-bucks takeover by Saudi Arabia.’

They may, but it seems highly unlikely that Manchester United are about to change their spending habits because the wise Jamie Carragher was the first to spot that ‘a football club cannot guarantee titles by being the biggest spenders’.

‘It would appear that United’s new regime are already putting the lessons that Carragher tried to deliver into practice. The Red Devils are one of several clubs being linked to Benfica striker Nunez, along with Liverpool.

‘Jurgen Klopp’s men are reportedly ready to smash their transfer record in order to secure his signature, with Benfica valuing him at £85million. But according to the Manchester Evening News, there will not be a bidding war, with United ‘reluctant’ to get drawn into one.’

This ‘bidding war’ thing is ludicrous. It’s not an auction. A footballer is not sold to the highest bidder. Manchester United are ‘reluctant’ to bid for Nunez because he would never join them while Liverpool are interested.

‘Though they are ‘interested’ and have held talks over the Uruguayan, a big-money bid is off the table. That change in strategy, starting with the pursuit of Nunez, would suggest that United are finally beginning to learn the lessons of their many failed exploits in the transfer market.’

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

‘It is something that could serve United well as they begin their rebuild under Ten Hag. The Dutchman has many areas in his new squad that need to see fresh blood and spending a massive amount of their budget on a striker could harm their wider overhaul.

‘The Nunez saga is arguably the new regime’s first chance to show they have learnt the lessons of the past. And the news of their ‘reluctance’ for a bidding war is a positive first step in that transition.’

And then did everybody in the lift clap?

 

Boo Manchester United
Alternatively, and elsewhere on the Mirror website, Simon Mullock writes:

‘Manchester United like to boast they are the biggest club in the world. As big as God, according to new chief executive Richard Arnold, who once told a summit he addressed in 2016 that the “level we are engaging at, to put it in context, is akin to religion.”

‘It’s about time they started doing what it says on the tin. If United just step aside to allow Liverpool to snatch Benfica striker Darwin Nunez from under their noses then the bright new future promised by Arnold when he took over from Ed Woodward earlier this year will already be a pipedream.’

For f***’s sake. A few things here:

1) Darwin Nunez has a choice. And his choice is very likely to be to join Liverpool. Because they are so, so, so much better and they are playing in the Champions League.

2) Manchester United can still be one of the biggest clubs in the world and be unable to sign ambitious players. Biggest and best are not the same unless you are seven.

3) What chance does Erik ten Hag have as Manchester United manager if failure to sign one of the hottest properties in world football from a position of sixth place in the Premier League means the idea of success ‘will already be a pipedream’?

4) What a load of bollocks.

 

The article Why are the media pretending Manchester United can challenge Liverpool for Nunez? appeared first on Football365.com.

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