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Real Madrid linked with a move for Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino

The Spanish side have reportedly got their eye on the Brazilian who is seen as an ideal substitute for Karim Benzema.

The Spanish side have reportedly got their eye on the Brazilian who is seen as an ideal substitute for Karim Benzema.

Real Madrid are seriously searching for a new number 9, but this is no easy task given that both Haaland and Mbappé are on the horizon in 2024. And the already tricky situation with their future targets complicates things as Madrid need to search for a profile that fits their immediate requirements for the mini-rebuild. At the moment, the name of Harry Kane is Carlo Ancelotti’s firm favourite, and is the club’s most ambitious plan out of the three that are on the table.

Dusan Vlahovic and Gonçalo Ramos are the other two names that float around the boardroom and they too would not come cheap. For that reason, Roberto Firmino has been named by the club as the low-cost choice: and he is not a player plucked randomly out of a hat, as his name has been discussed internally at the club. “There are no negotiations as of now”, says Fabrizio Romano, the transfer ‘guru’.

Roberto Firmino scored Liverpool's second goal during the match against Southampton.
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Roberto Firmino scored Liverpool's second goal during the match against Southampton.DANIEL HAMBURYEFE

Forget ‘low-cost’, Firmino is no-cost

The huge plus with the Firmino option is his price tag: the player would arrive on a free transfer as his contract with Liverpool expires at the end of June, meaning no negotiations would be required with the Merseyside club.

Firmino is an experienced player: at 31-years-old, he has shown repeatedly that he has the quality to compete as the elite level and he would adapt perfectly to the role of substitute number 9 in Spain. The player leaves Liverpool after scoring 111 goals and getting 79 assists in 362 games; numbers that show perfectly his capacity to influence proceedings on the pitch. He is a striker with the soul of a number 10, and loves to link up with team mates and get involved with the buildup as well as find the back of the net - remind you of anyone? He is indeed one of the players across Europe who perfectly replicates the role of Karim Benzema.

Over the last couple of seasons it is true that Firmino has lost his starting place in the team, especially with the arrival of Darwin Núñez last summer. But he has not been without his goal-scoring touch: the player has 13 goals and 5 assists in 1,710 minutes of football this season, participating in a goal every 95 minutes. In his last game at Anfield Firmino poetically scored the goal to draw the game against Aston Villa and at the final whistle he could not hold back the tears.

Firmino is attracting attention across the world

Eight years of service is a long time in the fast-paced world of football and he has a lot to show for it. The striker was nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2019 and made the Champions League team of the season a year earlier. He also has 7 trophies, including a Champions League and Premier League, and turned into one of the most feared forwards across Europe.

This cocktail of circumstance, talent and opportunity means that the player is a real option for Real Madrid. But there is reported interest from Inter, AC Milan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as various Premier League clubs... and even Barcelona. For Real Madrid to take on the player it will mean dropping the list they have already made, and everything depends on what the final decision is regarding a profile that either reflects or counters that of Karim Benzema. With Firmino, Madrid would have a cheap, sweet and solid alternative. A Brazilian Benzema, if you like, one who worked as the glue to hold together the best version of Klopp’s Liverpool. And he might just work out for Los Blancos, as he could be what they need right now.


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