A former player is unsure whether Jurgen Klopp actually wants to keep Roberto Firmino at Liverpool for the foreseeable future with the club showing hesitancy about him.
Liverpool have spent big money to improve and revamp their forward line this year. Luis Diaz joined from Porto for an initial £37.5million in January. BBC Sport claim the transfer had the potential to be worth £50m through add-ons.
Then, in the summer transfer window, Liverpool parted with £64m to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica. And his move could be worth a club-record £85m through bonus clauses.
Diaz arrived on Merseyside to replace Sadio Mane on the left wing. Nunez, meanwhile, joined Jurgen Klopp’s side to eventually replace Firmino at centre-forward.
Diaz has got off to a brilliant start at Liverpool, though he is now recovering from a knee injury. Nunez’s first few months at Liverpool have been intriguing, to say the least.
He was sent off during his home debut and spent the next three league games suspended. Nunez has been guilty of missing several great chances too, though he has also scored some impressive goals. His tally for the season stands at six goals and one assist in 13 matches.
Klopp has had to change his 4-3-3 system to a 4-2-3-1 to accommodate Nunez up front. This tends to see Firmino operate just behind the Uruguayan in attack.
Firmino has been in brilliant form this campaign. But with his contract running out at the end of the season, there is the possibility of Firmino leaving Liverpool next summer.
Pundit ‘cannot see’ forward remaining at Liverpool
And that is exactly what former Arsenal goalscorer Kevin Campbell thinks will happen. The pundit doesn’t think Liverpool are ‘serious’ about retaining his services as they are yet to organise his contract extension, despite reports to the contrary.
“I cannot see him staying,” Campbell said during an interview with Football Insider. “That is if I am being totally honest.
“If the club were serious about keeping him they would have already got him negotiated an extra couple of years.
“When you let a player of his profile get into the final 12 months of his contract, the writing is on the wall in my opinion.
“If he scores 12 goals I’m sure Liverpool will be moving heaven and earth to keep him.
“But right now, I think he will leave next summer. It will be a changing of the guard.”
Some Liverpool fans will have been expecting Firmino to leave the club at the end of the season following Nunez’s arrival. While Campbell thinks this will still happen, it could be argued the Brazilian has turned things around.
He has been one of Klopp’s best players this term, having notched eight goals and four assists in 16 appearances. When Liverpool have been looking for a leader in attack, Firmino has often stepped up.
The 31-year-old will not be short of suitors, should Campbell be proved right about an exit. Juventus are long-term admirers of his and may submit an offer. Barcelona and AC Milan have also been linked with his signature.