Premier League duo Chelsea and Liverpool both sent scouts to take a closer look at Hoffenheim star Roberto Firmino yesterday, with Bild reporting that six top European clubs all watched the Brazilian playmaker in Bundesliga action on Saturday afternoon.
Firmino has enjoyed a fantastic campaign for Hoffenheim, among the continent's most consistent midfield maestros with 13 goals and nine assists in 24 Bundesliga matches.
That form has alerted a whole host of the potential summer suitors, including Chelsea and Liverpool, who are all now pondering a summer offer for a player rated at a minimum of £12m by Hoffenheim.
AC Milan, Schalke, Inter Milan and Wolfsburg also sent representatives to the Rhein-Neckar Arena yesterday to watch Hoffenheim face Mainz, with Firmino scoring in a frenetic match which saw the visitors rally from two goals down to win 4-2.
Despite Hoffenheim collapsing to defeat Firmino was once again impressive in patches, enough to enhance the 22-year-old's growing reputation.
Hoffenheim coach Markel Gisol was asked by Bild about Firmino's future following the match, making it very clear that if at all possible they want to keep the South American starlet for next season.
Gisol said: "Of course we know the mechanisms of the (transfer) market, but players who have proven themselves and fit well into our system, we want to keep here."
Both Liverpool and Chelsea are actively searching for reinforcements and will not be put off by Gisol's comments, as the continent's top clubs cue up to watch Firmino and make a summer switch for the dynamic, versatile schemer a distinct possibility.
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