Erik ten Hag ready for 'next step' with Man Utd by beating top four rival Liverpool at Anfield
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Liverpool reportedly won’t seek to replace Roberto Firmino in the summer transfer window after the 31-year-old striker confirmed his decision to depart on Friday. Firmino will leave Anfield as a club icon once his contract expires in July after a decorated eight-year spell.
The Liverpool ECHO report that despite Jurgen Klopp’s desire to keep him beyond the summer, Firmino wants to pursue a new challenge after winning every major trophy available on Merseyside.
However, it’s claimed that Klopp doesn’t view replacing the Brazil international as a priority as he plans to bolster other areas of his squad at the end of the season.
He is said to be looking to strengthen his ageing midfield, a glaring weakness this season, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expected to join Firmino and leave on free transfers.
Klopp’s front line is no longer at the forefront of his mind after sanctioning a big-money attacking signing in each of the last three transfer windows.
Liverpool splashed £50million to sign Luis Diaz last January before sealing a club-record £85m summer deal for Darwin Nunez and £35m move for Cody Gakpo at the start of 2023.
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Diaz, Nunez and Gakpo will join Diogo Jota under pressure to ensure Firmino’s presence isn’t missed once he exits Anfield.
Mohamed Salah will stand as the longest-serving forward in Klopp’s ranks and the last of one of the club’s greatest-ever front threes, featuring Firmino and Sadio Mane.
It comes as no surprise that Klopp wanted Firmino to stay, considering he has made more appearances than any other player under the German throughout his entire coaching career.
He has made 354 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 107 goals and cementing his place in the club’s prestigious folklore.
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Firmino has been able to speak to overseas clubs about a pre-contract agreement since the turn of the new year.
However, he reportedly hasn’t yet decided where his future lies and will be focusing on Liverpool’s fight for a top-four finish.
He will become the latest in a long list of Reds players that Klopp has let leave on a free transfer.
Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge, Gini Wijnaldum and Divock Origi are among the high-profile names that came before him.
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