Firmino Signs ‘Long-Term’ Contract
Sterling Now Expected To Move To City
Managing director Ian Ayre flew to South America to conclude negotiations after agreeing terms with Firmino’s club Hoffenheim, the German side where he has spent the past four-and-a-half years.
The news is expected to lead to the departure of Raheem Sterling for Manchester City.
Brazil international Firmino, 23, is currently in Chile with his country’s national team at the Copa America. Brazil take on Paraguay in Santiago on Saturday. He will undergo a medical at the conclusion of his side’s involvement in the tournament which runs to the end of next week.
The deal will then hinge on a work permit application. Liverpool could face problems on the latter given that Firmino doesn’t have an EU passport and only made his international debut in October of last year.
As for the fee, there are conflicting reports with some sources – principally Globo Esporte in Brazil – suggesting a fee of around £18million but reports from Germany this morning state that the Reds have agreed a deal for €41mllion (£29.5million).
Firmino has signed what is described by Liverpool as ‘a long-term deal’. That suggests a five-year contract.
The transfer is a coup for the Reds as Firmino had been linked with interest from Manchester United. Reports from Brazil earlier this month suggested that United had agreed a fee of €18million (£13.4million) for Firmino. However, those reports proved to be wide of the mark.
Firmino scored seven goals and provided ten assists for Hoffenheim last season. He made 151 appearances in league and cup for the German club and scored 47 goals after joining them from Figueirense in his homeland in December 2010. He also has nine senior caps for his country, scoring four goals.
Liverpool are now expecting a third and final bid from Manchester City for Raheem Sterling. City will offer between £45million and £50million for the 20-year-old and that bid is likely to be accepted by Liverpool.