Liverpool: Roberto Firmino ‘destined to stay’ at Anfield
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is ‘destined to stay’ at the club beyond this summer despite recent reports to the contrary.
The Lowdown: Firmino’s contract running down
The Brazilian icon has been a wonderful player for the Reds, mastering the false nine roles and forging a legendary front-three combination with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Firmino is out of contract at Liverpool at the end of this season, however, and he has been linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan in recent days, with the Italian press even believing he has been in contact with the San Siro club.
However, a new update suggests that the Reds’ No.9 will be going nowhere.
The Latest: Twist in the tale
According to FC Inter News [via Sport Witness], Inter are now unlikely to sign Firmino this summer despite their interest because he is ‘destined to stay’ put on Merseyside.
It is claimed that ‘talks’ have started between Liverpool and the 31-year-old over a new deal, with a two-year extension more likely than the three years he wants.
The Verdict: Makes perfect sense
Firmino isn’t quite the force he was, with age not allowing him to press as relentlessly as he once did – he averages 0.8 tackles per game in the Champions League this season, compared to 1.9 last term – but he remains an important player moving forward.
For that reason, giving him a new short-term contract is an absolute no-brainer, allowing him to take up a squad role and proving to be an effective impact substitute when legs are tiring.
Some may be unhappy at Liverpool retaining an ageing player who is currently earning £180,000 per week, but he has been hailed as ‘world class’ by Jurgen Klopp in the past and squad depth is vital moving forward.
At 31, he is far from ancient, too, and there is no reason why he can’t produce many more telling contributions in the coming years, prior to leaving when his potential extension runs out.