Departing Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has reportedly reached an agreement in principle – but not financially yet – to join a surprise next club in the summer.
Firmino is going to leave Liverpool at the end of the season when his contract expires. Still wanting to play regularly, the time has come for him to find a new club. After all, Liverpool have brought in other attackers like Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo in recent transfer windows.
The question has lingered about where exactly Firmino will end up next. There have been some suggestions of a move to Serie A with either Inter Milan or AS Roma, for example. Alternatively, he could be in line for a dream move to Real Madrid.
But some surprising claims have recently emerged regarding a different move for Firmino. According to Sportcell, the Brazil international has an ‘agreement in principle’ with Galatasaray.
There is supposedly still work to be done on the terms – including financially – of his contract. However, it is claimed that Firmino has given the green light to a move to the Turkish Super Lig side.
The update comes as quite a surprise, since Firmino’s agent made it clear a while back that he would not be negotiating with other teams while still under contract at Liverpool (even though he would be allowed to).
Hence, perhaps these claims should be taken with a pinch of salt. That said, something could have been happening in the background with regards to a transfer to Galatasaray.
Galatasaray to take another Premier League leaver
Galatasaray have picked up a few former Premier League players in recent years. For example, their current squad contains ex-Man Utd midfielder Juan Mata and former Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira.
Currently top of the Turkish Super Lig, they have a decent chance of being in the Champions League next season. The same cannot exactly be said for Liverpool at this moment in time.
Nevertheless, the Super Lig is 12th in UEFA’s league coefficient rankings. Therefore, Firmino would be dropping out of Europe’s top five leagues by joining Galatasaray.
If he instead chose to hold out for someone like Inter, Roma or Real Madrid, he would be staying within that category.
Where will Roberto Firmino be most prominent?
At the forefront of the 31-year-old’s mind will be how big a role he would play for any of his suitors. If he is going to be a backup option anywhere, he may as well have renewed his stay at Liverpool.
Therefore, he will have to see what kind of movement there is in each attack. Galatasaray currently have Mauro Icardi and Dries Mertens as their main forwards centrally. However, Icardi will also be out of contract at the end of the season.
Inter are searching for a replacement for Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, meanwhile. As for Roma, there have been rumours of a return to England for Tammy Abraham.
Finally, Real Madrid will be wondering what Karim Benzema has planned as his contract approaches its end – and they may need more support for him anyway.
The update from Sportcell has not directly referred to any rival suitors for Firmino’s signature other than Galatasaray. But piecing the information together would indicate this deal might not be quite as advanced as is being intimated.
Still, as Firmino keeps his options open, it will be a link to keep in mind.