Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has reportedly agreed to join Barcelona when his contract at Anfield expires this June.
The Brazilian international has been at the club since 2015 and has enjoyed eight successful years at the club. But he has chosen to end it all with the Anfield outfit this season, despite Liverpool’s and Jurgen Klopp’s reluctance to let him leave.
The German manager wanted to keep Bobby beyond the summer and offered him a contract extension. But the 31-year-old felt it was time to leave.
After learning about his imminent exit, several clubs were interested in taking him on a Bosman deal. In addition, clubs in Saudi Arabia and the United States of America stated their desire to snap up the player.
But according to Daily Mail, Spanish giants Barcelona have won the race for his signature, with the Brazilian already in agreement with the club to join after June.
Firmino’s deal makes sense for Barca, whose difficult financial situation makes them unable to sign new players unless they can sell some of their stars. As such, the Catalan club are prioritising quality free transfers.
Alongside Firmino, they also want to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez, Manchester City’s midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, former player, and PSG forward Lionel Messi. All three players will be out of contract at their respective clubs, and Barca want to take advantage of their availability for free.
Meanwhile, Firmino has suffered a hamstring injury and will miss Liverpool’s next three games. However, his manager, Klopp, remains hopeful he can return before the end of the season.
The 31-year-old fan favourite has scored 109 goals in 360 appearances for Liverpool. He will expect an emotional farewell from the Kop at Liverpool’s final home game of the season against Aston Villa on May 20.