How Liverpool could line up with Darwin Nunez as Reds close in on £85m transfer

Darwin Nunez is set to become Liverpool's first summer signing with the Reds reportedly agreeing a club-record deal for the Benfica forward.

The Uruguay international is one of the most coveted strikers in this summer's transfer window following a breakout season. Nunez netted 34 times in all competitions, including two goals against the Reds in their Champions League quarter-final clash.

Nunez is reportedly in the UK undergoing his medical, with the bulk of the procedure due to take place on Tuesday. Liverpool have agreed to a package with Benfica which could rise to around £85 million should the criteria for add-ons be met.

Jurgen Klopp has not wasted anytime in lining up a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, with the Senegal international expected to depart this summer. Following six successful seasons, the former Southampton star is said to be keen on a new challenge.

Mane has entered the final year of his contract at Anfield, and has been tipped to join Bayern Munich this summer. The Bundesliga champions have reportedly had two approaches turned down for the 30-year-old already, with the Reds holding out for in excess of £40 million.

Regardless of whether Mane leaves, Klopp now has a plethora of attacking options at his disposal. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are expected to stay for next season despite also facing uncertain futures, while Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota have excelled since joining.

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Squad options Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also add depth to the front three. Nunez will provide another versatile option who should be capable of seamlessly slotting into Klopp's preferred 4-3-3 formation.

The incoming forward has excelled both through the middle and playing off the left wing. It is likely this adaptability which led to Nunez being identified as a suitable replacement for Mane.

Speaking about Nunez in April, Klopp said: “Extremely good looking boy, huh? And a decent player as well.

"Really good, really good. I knew before, of course, but he played pretty much in front of me with his tough battles with Ibrahima Konate.

“He was physically strong, quick, was calm around his finish. Good, really good. I always say in these situations if he is healthy, it’s a big career ahead of him.”

Liverpool's pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple led to Klopp frequently rotating in the closing stages of the season. However, the Reds' line up for the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid hints at the manager's preferred eleven.

Diaz's scintillating form since his January arrival led to Mane adapting to a central role. While Klopp has the options to alter his attack dependent upon each opponent, this setup indicates Nunez could simply slot into the striker position.

This could play to the former Almeria prospect's strengths, given the volume of goals scored this season compared to his return of four assists. However, in the event of rotation, Nunez could take Diaz's role on the left wing to accommodate either Firmino or Jota through the middle.

Potential Liverpool line up: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago; Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz

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