Serie A giants Juventus are keen on signing Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino during this summer transfer window, according to 90min.
The Italian heavyweights have approached intermediaries about sealing a potential deal for the Brazil international, 30, but it appears the Reds want to hold on to him.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City that Firmino remains firmly in his plans for 2022-23 and is not for sale, and that could make striking any deal prove herculean for Juve.
The Turin outfit are in the market for a new striker after refusing to activate their option of signing Alvaro Morata permanently at the end of his two-season loan spell from Atletico Madrid, and they reckon the Anfield fans’ favourite could be perfect for them.
Firmino has struggled for regular action at the Merseyside club in recent months, but whether a move to Juventus could be appealing to him remains to be seen.
Time to leave?
The South American featured in 20 Premier League games last term, with only half of them being starts.
For a player who had made over 30 league starts for six straight seasons heading into 2021-22, the significant drop in game time would surely have been worrying for him.
The combination of Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah leading the line for Liverpool appeared to be non-negotiable, but the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers threatened that.
Luis Diaz’s arrival from Porto in January further limited his playing opportunities, and while Mane has since left for Bayern Munich, the Reds have brought in Darwin Nunez from Benfica to further strengthen their striking options.
Despite his undeniable quality and experience, Firmino does not appear to be capable of forcing his way back into the Liverpool starting XI anytime soon, and lack of regular action during the opening months could see him miss out on Brazil’s squad to the Qatar World Cup in November.
Jesus Gabriel is expected to start playing more regularly at Arsenal following his move from Manchester City earlier this summer, and should Richarlison also manage to establish himself in Antonio Conte‘s starting XI at Tottenham Hotspur after he left Everton, that could spell trouble for Firmino’s international career.
Should he join the Old Lady, the former Hoffenheim star will most likely be manager Massimiliano Allegri’s first choice to lead the line despite Moise Kean’s presence.
He is arguably an upgrade on Morata and the young Italian striker, and his ability to defend from the front suits the side’s style of play.
Firmino has won it all at Liverpool, and playing in another one of Europe’s top-flight leagues and challenging for silverware elsewhere could be tempting.
He has nothing else to prove in England, and should he leave Anfield this summer, he will be doing so as a Reds hero without any doubt.
Some fans even consider him one of the club’s legends due to his heroics in their colours.
Spending more time on the bench will not do Firmino any good, and while it is too early to return home as he approaches the twilight of his career, another stint in one of the world’s biggest club sides makes perfect sense.