Manchester United were interested in signing Roberto Firmino before he moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2015, and they now have the opportunity to make amends if they so desire
With Manchester United preparing to recruit a new center-forward in the summer transfer window, there is one unimaginable addition that could be ideal for Erik ten Hag. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool’s ‘Bobby dazzler,’ is out of contract in June and has decided not to prolong his stay at Anfield, a decision he has now expressed to Jürgen Klopp.
While some may be surprised given his crucial role in Klopp’s historic reign, Liverpool’s new-look front three of Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez, and Mohamed Salah may have provided validation for Firmino’s decision on Sunday, when they tore Manchester United to shreds in a 7-0 romp.
Firmino came off the bench to score, but he is now in his final months as a Liverpool player before moving on to greener pastures. His final destination has still to be determined, but United should undoubtedly be considered.
Wout Weghorst is anticipated to leave at the conclusion of the season unless they pay up and sign a permanent agreement with Burnley, allowing the Red Devils to concentrate their efforts on signing a marquee No.9.
Furthermore, Anthony Martial is expected to leave, giving the club the opportunity to recruit not one, but two new forwards before the start of the 2023/24 season.
While Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are likely to be the focus, Firmino presents a great left-field option given his Premier League experience and lack of a transfer fee.
Firmino’s willingness to switch allegiances and potentially jeopardize the legacy he leaves behind at Anfield is another question entirely, but if United were bold enough to pursue a deal, the signing would really hit Liverpool where it hurts.
It would undoubtedly cushion the shock of losing 7-0 on Merseyside in the long run, given the anguish it would inflict on Liverpool fans who adore Firmino and regard him as a modern-day Anfield great.
Apart from the politics, Firmino is the type of signing that would be extremely beneficial to Ten Hag. During their time together at Ajax, Dusan Tadic was working on another level under the Dutchman, playing as a false-nine.
Firmino could have a similar amount of fun leading the line for United, where he would unquestionably be an upgrade over Weghorst. He can link the play, create space, score, and assist; he has it all.
United attempted to sign Firmino while he was still at Hoffenheim before Liverpool pounced, sending Ian Ayre to the 2015 Copa America in Chile to finalize the deal.
From a Liverpool standpoint, saying goodbye to Firmino is heartbreaking. He has been so important to all the Reds have accomplished under Klopp that he will be difficult to replace.
But, Gakpo is now flying in a central role, and with Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz (still to return) unable to hit full gear after two catastrophic injuries, Liverpool’s assault is beginning to look frightening for the future.
But, this does not detract from what Firmino has accomplished and provided over his eight-year tenure at Anfield. He’s been pure magic, and there’s still plenty of quality in the tank before he retires.
There is no team in the world that would not be interested in signing Firmino, so he should not be short of suitors. Yet, any change could be contingent on his financial demands and the length of his stay.
When players reach the end of their existing contracts, it is commonly known that they have more bargaining power during contract negotiations because no transfer fee is involved in any deal.
Yet, United has never been shy about its salary structure, and in recent years, they have demonstrated a willingness to reach deep into their coffers in order to sign their targets on large contracts.
The signing of Firmino, particularly on a free transfer, makes a lot of sense, even if it appears impossible at this point. As previously stated, he may turn down a move to Old Trafford out of loyalty to his current club.