Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to the departing striker Roberto Firmino and described him as a player that will remain a club legend after his exit.
The Brazilian centre forward made a tearful farewell appearance at Anfield during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. He is set to leave The Reds on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract this summer.
Firmino has enjoyed a very successful career at Liverpool which has seen him establish himself as a fan favourite and he has earned plaudits for his creativity, work rate and goal scoring ability.
But why is Roberto Firmino leaving Liverpool this summer and who are the favourites to sign the Brazilian international?
Why is Roberto Firmino leaving Liverpool?
Roberto Firmino has enjoyed a sensational career at Liverpool and he is best remembered by fans for his iconic partnership alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane from 2017 until 2022.
During that time Firmino was a key player in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking system and he helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League, League Cup and FA Cup.
However, the Brazilian international has gradually fallen down the pecking order at Anfield over the last two seasons and he has been replaced in the starting lineup by exciting new recruits such as Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo.
Firmino’s departure is an emotional one for both the player and the fans who have affectionately nicknamed him “Bobby” during his eight year stay on Merseyside.
The departing attacker is said to want a fresh start at the end of the season and he believes this is the perfect time for him to move on. He said: “It is time, unfortunately. The cycle here has ended and I understand it is time to go.”
Liverpool were reportedly keen to offer Firmino a contract extension but the player is reportedly keen for a new challenge particularly as the club undergoes a period of transition.
Who is the favourite to sign Roberto Firmino?
Roberto Firmino is a free agent this summer and he is thought to be high on the list of transfer targets for a number of Europe’s biggest football clubs.
Barcelona are currently the bookmakers favourites to secure the player’s signature. The Catalan giants won the La Liga title for the first time since 2019 and they are reportedly searching for more fire power in attack to help boost their chances in the Champions League after a disappointing group stage exit this season.
A transfer to Barcelona would see Firmino team up with Brazilian team mate Raphinha in attack while he would also link up with the league’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski.
Arch-rivals Real Madrid missed out on glory in the league and Champions League this season and it is likely that they will look to table a rival bid for Firmino. The move would allow Firmino to team up with Brazilian international Vinicius Jr and it would also see him play alongside Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema.
Italian giants Napoli are the third favourites to secure the signature of Firmino as they look to defend the Serie A title, while Newcastle, AC Milan and Inter Milan are also tipped to be potential suitors.
Here is a list of all the main contenders to sign Roberto Firmino this summer, according to Sky Bet.
- Barcelona - 6/4
- Real Madrid - 4/1
- Napoli - 6/1
- Newcastle - 6/1
- AC Milan - 9/1
- Inter Milan - 10/1
- Any MLS club - 12/1
- Any Saudi Pro League Club - 12/1
- Juventus - 12/1
- Bayern Munich - 14/1