Roberto Firmino insists he remains happy at Liverpool amid claims he could still quit Liverpool this summer, and following Jurgen Klopp’s insistence that he has no plans to let the Brazilian depart Merseyside.
Firmino is in the final year of his contract at Anfield and is the subject of plenty of speculation. To that end, Juventus are reportedly looking to lure the experienced frontman to Juventus for what is being described as one final career challenge.
Indeed, having won all that there is to win during his seven seasons at Anfield, the attacker is reportedly open to the idea of a new challenge.
That was certainly an option Sadio Mane took once Bayern Munich came in for his signature. And while Liverpool opted to sanction his sale, Klopp has already made clear how he won’t allow Firmino to follow suit.
“Bobby is crucial for us,” Klopp said. “Bobby is [the] heart and soul of this team.
“The way we played in the last few years was only possible because of Bobby. That’s why I’m really happy he could train the majority of the time here in the pre-season so far and everything looks really good.
“I am absolutely fine and, for me, there’s no doubt about his quality.
“All the rest, we will see how this year goes, but yes, he is essential for us.”
That was a point the German was certainly keen to underline on Saturday when he named Firmino in his starting line-up for the Community Shield.
However, with competition tougher than ever at Anfield, Firmino may ultimately find himself sat on the bench more than ever this season.
Roberto Firmino insists he’s happy at Liverpool
The 30-year-old started just 10 Premier League games in the 2021/22. And with Darwin Nunez adding to Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota, Firmino knows securing a starting place at Anfield has never been tougher.
However, Firmino insists he is not looking to leave after declaring himself happy at Anfield.
Speaking to TNT Sports Brasil, he said: “I love this team, this city and the fans.
“I’m here. I want to stay, of course.”
Despite that, pundit Paddy Kenny believes Firmino will still look to leave Anfield this summer.
Amid claims Juventus are readying a firm £20m offer, Kenny says Firmino may yet ask to leave unless Klopp gives him a promise over the number of games he will play.
“Firmino brings something different to Liverpool,” Kenny told Football Insider.
“I would be surprised if they let him go, like I said, he is a different type of player. It all depends on the player.”
Explaining why he could look to move on, Kenny continued: “It depends how much game time he wants. He might be limited again at Liverpool and if he has the chance to go to Juventus then he might end up trying to push for that move.
“For me, I think Liverpool should keep him. He has a different style to the other attackers.”
Liverpool have decision to make over Firmino
Whatever they decide, Liverpool clearly have a decision to make over Firmino. The club simply cannot afford to let a big-money asset enter the last year of his contract without a resolution being made on his future.
The fact Firmino insists he is happy certainly gives them an advantage.
The Reds were stung in a similar fashion when Georginio Wijnaldum was allowed to wind down his deal and leave on a free for PSG. And, as they showed with their varying stances on Salah and Mane, it is not something they will want to see repeated.
To that end, Liverpool will surely now tie Firmino to a new deal – with a possible year or even two-year extension possible. Failure to do so will surely ensure they may need to cash in and take advantage of Juventus’ offer.
At his age, Liverpool will never be able to sell Firmino for such an amount ever again.
However, his importance to Liverpool cannot be understated. Fewer attackers do the dirty stuff as well as the Brazilian does. And surely without him, both Mane and especially Salah would not have anywhere near the goals they have.
Can Liverpool really let go of another forward in Roberto Firmino?
Should Liverpool be considering letting go of the 30-year-old?
And he may not be a regular fixture in their side, but Firmino offers that something different to all those he is in competition with for a shirt.
To date, Roberto Firmino has 98 goals and 74 assists from his 327 appearances for the Reds.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly growing hopeful that a deal for Jude Bellingham is closing in, with the England man due to arrive at Anfield far sooner than initially expected.