Liverpool identify £50m Roberto Firmino transfer replacement after scouting mission

Liverpool have identified Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius as a potential replacement for Roberto Firmino, according to a report in Spain. Vinicius joined Benfica from Napoli for £15.3million last summer and has set alight the Portuguese top-flight with 14 goals and seven assists so far this season.

The 24-year-old has resultantly attracted eyes from some of Europe’s biggest clubs and one of those is said to be Liverpool.

Spanish newspaper AS report that Liverpool are tracking Vinicius closely after sending scouts to watch him in Portugal on a few occasions.

And those recruitment experts are believed to consider the frontman as a strong option to replace Firmino should the Liverpool No 9 leave Anfield.

Vinicius has an £83m release clause inserted into his Estadio da Luz contract but is valued nearer the £50m mark by Benfica chiefs.

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Firmino has not been linked with a move away from the European champions but his level of performances over the past few seasons are sure to have enchanted fellow European titans.

The Brazilian has scored eight goals laid on seven assists in the Premier League this season and is vital to Liverpool’s creativity in attack.

The 28-year-old is widely considered to have morphed into the finest false nine in the world and is pinned to the club until June 2023.

Jurgen Klopp has no intention of losing Firmino and singled him out for praise following Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton last time out.

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“He is [unique]. He is just exceptional, a very football-smart person, obviously,” the German boss said.

“In the first half, in between a really tight formation of Southampton, the way he drops and keeps the ball, how he makes things happen is very special, absolutely.

“In the first half, in between a really tight formation of Southampton, the way he drops and keeps the ball, how he makes things happen is very special, absolutely.

“How he uses the skills of his mates is special. I do not know a player like him, that is true.”

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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes Firmino is the best striker in the league and heaped praise on him last month.

“Any manager in the world would love to have Firmino as their centre forward. I think he’s absolutely incredible.

“He’s selfless, brilliant, scores goals, sets things up, they can link off him, makes all the right runs, an outstanding player.”

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