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Liverpool had scouts at Benfica v Barcelona: But for who?

Liverpool scouts were in attendance to see Benfica dismantle Barcelona in shocking fashion in the UEFA Champions League last night.

The Portuguese side added to the Catalan side’s woes by easily beating them 3-0 at the Estadio da Luz.

It was the latest disastrous event in what has been a simply horrendous time for Barca.

And Liverpool were among the numerous teams to have scouts in the stadium watching it unfold live, per Melissa Reddy.

But the question is, who were they there to see?

Well, here are the three most likely candidates in our eyes.

Darwin Nunez

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If Liverpool were wanting to get a closer look at Darwin Nunez last night, then they will have been incredibly impressed.

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He opened the scoring after two minutes, cutting in from the left before fooling the Barca defence with a few stepovers and squeezing it past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen at the near post.

Sadio Mane-like, if you please.

The Uruguayan then sealed the win with a penalty to make it 3-0 after 79 minutes.

Nunez has had a big reputation since bagging 16 goals as a 20-year-old for Almeria in the Segunda Division in 2019/20.

Last season was his first in Portugal and it was solid if unspectacular. But he is having his big breakout now, with four goals in his opening five league matches.

Having recently turned 22 and capable of playing anywhere in the front three, Nunez is the most likely Liverpool signing of anyone that played last night.

It is an interesting one to keep an eye on, that’s for sure.

Pedri

Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Judging from Michael Edwards’ past, it is more likely that Liverpool scouts were at the game to watch Benfica players rather than Barcelona ones.

Yet the Reds famously target players under the age of 25, so perhaps they did have their eye on some of Ronald Koeman’s men. This is because Nunez was the only player under 25 in the Benfica line-up, so he is the only player that we can realistically see Liverpool being interested in from that team.

Honestly, there are only three Barcelona starters from the game that we would take at Liverpool anyway. These are Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.

It is highly unlikely that Memphis or De Jong will leave as Barca will want huge fees for them.

We also prefer De Jong as a No 6, rather than an 8, so there would not be room for him at Liverpool because of Fabinho.

Considering Pedri’s close personal links to the side, he probably won’t leave either. But he still hasn’t penned that new deal and it is possible that the Blaugrana will not be able to afford to keep him.

So could he possibly move to Anfield? It was certainly worth watching him just in case.

He didn’t have the best game last night, but it is clear that he will be one of the world’s best midfielders for the next decade.

The 18-year-old would be perfect for Liverpool, so it is a pity that we just cannot see him leaving his current side.

Ansu Fati

Photo by Paulo Nascimento/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Barcelona didn’t have a very impressive starting XI last night, one positive for them will be more minutes in the legs for Ansu Fati.

He came off the bench to score against Levante at the weekend. It was his first game since November following a serious meniscal injury.

Fati got 22 minutes against Benfica but failed to make much of an impact.

Alongside Pedri, he is Barca’s great hope for the future. He was even given Leo Messi’s No 10 shirt in the summer.

If he can continue where he left off before his injury then he is going to be a superstar.

The 18-year-old could even be worth paying the astronomical sum that Barcelona will want for him.

Again, it is difficult to see him leaving the Camp Nou, but stranger things have happened. There is no doubt that he would be perfect for any big side.

So while it would be tough to see him at Liverpool, he is one of the few players that we can imagine them hoping to get a good look at for either Barcelona or Benfica.

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