Date:14th May 2022 at 6:00am
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Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly facing a fight with Paris Saint-Germain for Darwin Nunez, with the French club understood to have made a huge opening bid for the striker…

THE LOWDOWN: SEARCH FOR NUMBER NINE

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu Gaspar are preparing for a big summer in which a new No.9 will be on top of the agenda as they aim to close the gap on the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League.

The club are actively seeking to find a replacement for former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah could also be departing to their expiring contracts.

It means Arsenal will be busy scouring the market for a new goalscoring no.9 who could take their game to the next level, and lethal hitman Nunez has reportedly been on their list of targets.

However, it seems as though the French champions have stolen a march on the forward.

THE LATEST: PSG OPENING OFFER

Reports in Portugal are suggesting PSG have already made a move for the talented forward.

O Jogo claim the French champions are preparing an offer of £102million.

That still leaves them below the reported release clause of £128m, although with Kylian Mbappe’s future still up in the air, PSG are said to be assessing potential replacements.

THE VERDICT: OPPORTUNITY MISSED

The £36m-rated hitman recently dubbed “Uruguay’s future number nine” and soon to be “best in the world” by former coach Jorge Jesus, has been in sensational form for the Portuguese giants Benfica so far this season hitting an incredible 26 Liga Nos goals, and four assists in 28 appearances.

The 6 foot 2 striker’s tremendous goalscoring form doesn’t stop there, also hitting six goals in ten games in Benfica’s impressive European run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The former Almeria striker has incredibly improved on last season’s return of six goals in 29 Portuguese top-flight games.

As per FBref, he possesses an astonishing goals per 90 record of 1.18, which means in every game Benfica play, the 22-year-old is an almost certainty to find the back of the net, and he is doing so with such unerring regularity this so far season.

It’s clear Arsenal are in need of a true goalscoring number nine, especially considering Alexandre Lacazette’s struggles in finding consistent goalscoring form.

While the Frenchman has excelled in his creation of goals with seven assists so far this campaign, he’s only notched four league goals in comparison to Nunez’s 26.

It’s no wonder he has been lauded as the “complete forward” by football scout Jacek Kulig in the past.

The latest reports suggesting that PSG are stealing a march on the Uruguayan could well prove to be a huge opportunity missed for the Gunners considering the potential and abilities the South American hitman possesses.

AND in other news, Arsenal interested in “spectacular” £49.50m-rated ace, who is an upgrade on Xhaka – opinion