Daily Mail

Firmino out this summer in Klopp’s big revamp


ROBERTO FIRMINO is quitting Liverpool this summer after informing the club he will not sign a new deal.

The Brazil forward has been a huge figure during the Jurgen Klopp era and, while he has been more peripheral of late with appearance­s limited by injuries, this is still a major developmen­t.

It is also another indication of a changing of the guard at Anfield. Klopp said in early January that he wanted Firmino — a £29million signing from Hoffenheim in June 2015 — to stay with Liverpool. Indeed, the manager had made it clear that his wish was for the 31-year-old to sign an extension.

But there is an acceptance from Firmino now that his days as a starting player for the club are over. Liverpool have replenishe­d their attack over the last 12 months, spending £180million on deals for Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Fabio Carvalho, as well as extending Diogo Jota’s terms.

Firmino had been enjoying a decent season before the pre-Christmas World Cup, scoring nine times, and his form was so consistent that Klopp was bemused as to why he was not in Brazil’s squad for Qatar. Since then, though, Firmino has been limited to just 87 minutes over five substitute appearance­s due to a persistent calf issue and that has led Klopp to form a new attack with Nunez or Jota, Gakpo and Mohamed Salah.

Inter Milan will be among those who look to offer Firmino a new home. He can, in theory, agree terms now with any club in Europe, or further afield, and there is no question a man who has scored 107 goals and provided 70 assists will be missed at Anfield.

His experience will be required between now and the end of the season if Liverpool are to secure a place in the top four and Klopp knows how crucial the outcome of tomorrow’s clash with Manchester United is for that objective to be achieved.

‘The important thing about the chase is that the chase is not a one-day trip, you really have to go for it,’ said Klopp.

‘I have no clue what it means to them but I think they (our rivals) realise already we are not completely gone.

‘A lot of good things happened in the last few weeks, but because of the Madrid game (5-2 home defeat) it doesn’t feel like that. We have to make further steps. What it means for the other teams, I don’t know, but they do know we are still around — and that’s better than if they can’t see us anymore.’

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