Newcastle United installed Liverpool new-boy Darwin Nunez as their top attacking target for this summer.
That’s according to The Athletic, who claim that Newcastle wanted the Liverpool player to compete with Callum Wilson for a starting spot.
However, it’s claimed that Newcastle never ‘realistically’ expected to win the race for the Uruguayan.
They were reportedly quoted a fee ‘in excess’ of £50m in order to sign Nunez. The 23-year-old eventually joined Liverpool for an initial £64m three weeks ago.
Newcastle moving smartly in the market
It was perhaps a little ambitious for Newcastle to go after a player as sought-after as Darwin. The player himself had also made it clear that he was keen to play Champions League football next season.
What this story does do though, is highlight that the Magpies will be another threat in the market going forward.
When battling for top signings, you expect to have to jostle with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United. Madrid themselves were also said to be hopeful of taking Nunez to the Santiago Bernabeu.
But Newcastle are now positioning themselves as a force to be reckoned with, too.
After such an influx of money, they could be forgiven for over-spending on formerly top players with their best days behind them.
Instead, they look to be moving smartly in the market, and identifying young players who can grow with them. Players like Sven Botman were at one time on the list of many of the top teams around.
Liverpool have been doing that for years, and shouldn’t be cowed by an imitation strategy. But it does mean that from here on in, The Reds fabled recruitment team may have one more competitor to try to shake off.