Thursday 22 February 2018

Liverpool hoping to keep Roberto Firmino until end of his career

Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho
Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool want to reward striker Roberto Firmino with a new contract keeping him at Anfield for the rest of his career.

Firmino still has two years remaining on his current deal but will be offered the opportunity to commit longer.

Having lost Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool will move to ensure their other prized assets are not similarly tempted to go should record breaking bids materialise.

Firmino is likely to be one of the major beneficiaries of Liverpool’s injection of cash from £142 million sale, the club not only sure to bring new recruits but protecting the foundations of the rest of the squad that has been built.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has a deal keeping him at Anfield in 2022, and such is the average age of his squad the majority of those at the club will spend the peak of their career playing under him.

Although the loss of Coutinho is a major setback, the club does not believe the sale of key players will become a trend under Klopp as it did for the manager in Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool see the Coutinho case as isolated, the Brazilian never disguising his dream to move to the Nou Camp throughout his career at Anfield.  They are sure their other key performers such as Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah – who only joined last summer – will be settled on Merseyside for years to come.

Firmino is next in line to be rewarded, and although negotiations have not yet formally started that will happen soon. Since signing for Liverpool in 2015, at that time under former manager Brendan Rodgers, he has steadily improved.

Under Klopp he has been especially effective as the No 9. This year he has 16 goals already, second only to Salah.

Firmino did have a particular good relationship with Coutinho on and off the park, however. Coutinho was best man at Firmino’s wedding last summer.

“Liverpool is no longer the same without you my magical brother,” Firmino wrote on social media following his friend’s departure to the Nou Camp.

“I wish you infinite success, that you enjoy life and realise all your dreams brother. God is always protecting you and your whole family. It was an honour to play with a magician like you.”

Liverpool’s players have returned from their mini break in Dubai. Daniel Sturridge, who missed recent weeks with a hamstring problem, has been involved again.

Several clubs are interested in signing Sturridge in this transfer window but Liverpool will only sell for an offer reflective of his value, despite the England striker’s limited game time.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport