Arsenal are closely following young Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, according to a report, though they’re far from the only ones.

fbl por liga rio ave benfica
Benfica’s Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez (TOP) vies with Rio Ave’s Brazilian forward Ronan during the Portuguese League football match between Rio Ave FC and SL Benfica at the Rio Ave FC – Dos Arcos stadium in Vila do Conde on October 18, 2020. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

FourFourTwo report that Arsenal are one of the clubs keeping a close eye on Darwin Nunez ahead of a potential transfer. They have quite some competition, though, with Manchester City, Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid all after him too.

The report claims Nunez has a market value of €18m and Benfica would be willing to sell him for a good offer, despite only signing him from Almeria in the summer.

Nunez has five goals and six assists in 11 games so far this season. He’d reportedly welcome a return to Spain, but doesn’t want to move to Real Madrid just to sit on the bench like Luka Jovic before him.

From that point of view, Arsenal could have an advantage. Unlike the other interested clubs, the Gunners are probably a lot more open to replacing their current centre-forward. Alexandre Lacazette’s contract expires in a year and a half anyway.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is playing centrally right now, but he’s also spent a lot of time on the left under Mikel Arteta, so he doesn’t necessarily prevent a new centre-forward signing from becoming a starter.

The one big negative is that it would block the pathway of younger strikers coming through. Arsenal have Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun (if he extends), Tyreece John-Jules, and others in the younger age groups, all waiting for a chance.

It’s hard to see Balogun sticking around if Arsenal sign another striker, for example. But if the club think Nunez is the right man to take them forward, that may be a risk they’re willing to take.