Jurgen Klopp breaks silence on Roberto Firmino’s Liverpool future amid Juventus interest | Football


Roberto Firmino is a target for Juventus (Picture: Getty)

Jurgen Klopp has dampened speculation that Roberto Firmino could be allowed to leave Liverpool this summer, describing the Brazilian as the ‘heart and soul’ of the team.

Juventus have held talks with the Brazilian’s representatives over a move to Turin, with the Italians keen on replacing Paulo Dybala.

Firmino has been pushed down the pecking order since the arrivals of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, and his playing time will reduce further following the acquisition of Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

Liverpool decided to cash in on Sadio Mane earlier this summer after the Senegal international intimated he wanted to leave ahead of his contract expiring in 2023.

Firmino’s contract is also up in less than 12 months time and there’s been little progress in discussions about an extension.

This transfer window is likely Liverpool’s last opportunity to obtain a significant fee for Firmino and Juventus would be willing to pay up to £20m.

But Klopp has suggested the Brazilian will be staying at Anfield next season, describing the forward as ‘crucial’.

Firmino's contract expires in 2023

Firmino is out of contract next summer (Picture: Getty)

‘Bobby is crucial for us, he is the heart and soul of this team,’ said Klopp.

‘Everything looks really good and I am absolutely fine with Firmino.

‘For me, there is no doubt about his quality, so yes, he is essential for us.’

With Nunez struggling to a degree in pre-season and Klopp mindful of expecting too much, too soon from the Uruguayan, there is a feeling that Firmino could be used to help the forward to settle at Anfield.

Firmino is entering his eighth season on Merseyside and Klopp values his work-rate and tactical nous, with the Brazilian perfectly understanding what the German demands from him.

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