Newcastle United have jumped the queue with an early official £49m bid for a prime West Ham striker target.

According to a new report from Foot Mercato Newcastle have submitted the £49m bid for Benfica star Darwin Nunez, who West Ham tried to sign in January.

Signing a quality striker is right at the top of the agenda for both David Moyes and Eddie Howe this summer.

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
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Michail Antonio is West Ham’s only real recognised senior striker option and has not scored in the Premier League since New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile at Newcastle, January striker signing Chris Wood is widely considered nothing more than a stop gap.

West Ham dropped a massive hint over the man they want when they tried but failed to buy Uruguayan star Nunez from Benfica in January (90 min and Sky Sports).

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Speculation has been rife since that West Ham will make a fresh move for striker Nunez when the summer window opens in June.

It has been reported that West Ham’s failed January bid only served to alert other clubs.

And it appears one of those was West Ham’s newly-minted Premier League rivals Newcastle.

Because according to a report from Foot Mercato, Newcastle have looked to jump the queue with an official £49m bid for prime West Ham striker target Nunez.

Liverpool FC v SL Benfica Quarter Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
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“Newcastle offers over €60m (£49m) to Benfica for Darwin Nunez,” Foot Mercato reports.

“Courted by the biggest names in Europe and author of a very good campaign in the Champions League despite the recent elimination of Benfica against Liverpool, Darwin Nunez confirms all the hopes placed in him.

“Enough to stir up the most beautiful desires a few weeks before the next summer transfer window.

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“As such, Newcastle, now under the Saudi flag and with an extraordinary financial capacity, has decided to go on the offensive to afford the Uruguayan jewel.”

It comes after respected European football expert Andy Brassell said last week that could see Nunez joining West Ham this summer (talkSPORT).

It is easy to see why West Ham, Newcastle and a host of other top clubs want the 22-year-old forward.

SL Benfica v Belenenses SAD - Liga Portugal Bwin
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Nunez has managed six goals in six Champions League games for the Portuguese club this season as well as 24 goals in 24 Portuguese league matches.

He is a top player at a great age and is certain to command a lot of interest this summer.

Whether Newcastle going early will help them land the player or simply sets the base price for an auction remains to be seen.

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