Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has told manager Jurgen Klopp he will not be signing a new contract and that he will leave Anfield as a free agent this summer, according to one insider.
Firmino joined Liverpool from German club Hoffenheim in summer 2015. He cost the Reds £29million, according to BBC Sport.
The centre-forward has enjoyed a brilliant spell at Liverpool, making over 350 appearances and scoring 107 goals. He formed a deadly forward partnership with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane which helped Liverpool win trophies such as the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup under Klopp’s guidance.
Firmino remains a favourite among the Anfield faithful, although he tends to start less matches now due to competition from the likes of Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota.
The Brazilian had a fantastic start to the campaign, notching eight goals and four assists in his first 11 appearances in all competitions. However, Firmino picked up an injury during the club’s mid-season training camp in Dubai and this ruled him out for 10 matches between Boxing Day and February 4.
Since Firmino has returned, he has had to rely mainly on substitute appearances for game time. At 31 years of age, he wants to be playing more regularly. And this has set up the possibility of him leaving Liverpool.
Firmino’s Liverpool contract expires in the summer. It was recently claimed that he was ‘destined’ to stay on Merseyside by penning a new two-year contract with Liverpool. That would include the option of an extra year.
However, Firmino has seemingly completed a major U-turn on his future. As per Sky Sport Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, who regularly breaks news on Firmino, he has decided to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
Roberto Firmino makes final decision on Liverpool future
He has told Klopp he will not be signing the new deal which had been so close to reaching completion. Instead, he will move on as a free agent later this year.
The news will come as a major shock to Liverpool fans. They will have been hoping to see Firmino stay at the club for an extra few years. But it is understandable that the 55-cap Brazil international wants to move on so he can start regularly for another team.
Firmino’s most likely destination is Serie A. Inter Milan have been pushing hard to sign him in recent months. And once they find out he has opted to leave Liverpool, they will go all out to get to his signature first.
There have also been rumours of a potential Barcelona move. However, Inter appear to be in pole position for Firmino as things stand.
Firmino is not the only player who could depart Liverpool on a free transfer this summer. Midfielders Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are out of contract come the end of the season, too. And their departures are likely to spark a midfield overhaul.