Although there’s not even a whisper linking Arsenal with a move for Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino, a strange bit of news leaked out yesterday regarding the Brazilian’s contract. Highly valued on Merseyside, there was really no surprise that the buyout clause listed in his contract is a staggering £82mil, but what will raise an eyebrow or two is that the fee applies to everyone except the Gunners.
So, in essence, if bitter rivals Manchester United were to make a play for the 25-year old, the Anfield outfit wouldn’t be able to step in and put a stop to it, but if Arsene Wenger comes knocking they can tell the Frenchman to take a hike. This little bit of contractual wrangling almost certainly relates back to Arsenal’s failed attempt to sign then Liverpool hit-man Luis Suarez with their now infamous £40 million + £1 offer for the Uruguayan in the summer of 2013. Despite the fact that it would take a massive offer to prise Firmino away from Liverpool, even if something impressive does come across the table, it doesn’t sound like he’d be interested in leaving.
“Klopp is friends with everyone who surrounds him, works with great respect and has the affection of everyone wherever he goes,” he told Brazilian media outlet O Globo, full of praise for the German manager. “On the other hand, he is very demanding, both with himself and with everyone who is part of our daily work, on and off the field,” continued Firmino. “He is a football scholar, he analyses each match in every detail that may exist.”
A series of injuries made adapting to life in the Premier League hard for the former Hoffenheim man, but after forming a partnership with compatriot Philippe Coutinho, the Brazilian has found his feet at Anfield and is flourishing in Jurgen Klopp’s all-action system. While his work rate both on and off the ball are often his biggest asset, he’s no slouch in front of the net and with five goals and three assists to his name so far this season, it’s easy to why Liverpool have slapped a £82mil price tag on him — unless, of course, you’re Arsenal.