Roberto Firmino has been the subject of an £8 million bid from Premier League outfit Arsenal, recent reports suggest.
This information comes courtesy of the latest speculation from Italy cited by The Daily Express, which further claims that such an offer does not appear to have met Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim's presumably lofty valuation of the player.
The Gunners are certainly not the first Premier League title contender to be linked with Brazilian playmaker Firmino this summer, with London rivals Chelsea having also been strongly suggested as a potential suitor for the talented 22-year-old.
If such a claim is true, then Arsenal's apparently strong interest in capturing Firmino may come as a somewhat of a surprise to supporters.
The signing of Alexis Sanchez - completed earlier this month for a fee believed to be in the region of £35 million - from Barcelona has only served to strengthen Arsene Wenger's options behind the lone striker, and Firmino would have huge competition for a starting berth if he were to move to the Emirates Stadium.
Rather, Arsenal - who will look to ensure that they follow-up on May's last-gasp FA Cup triumph and mount a credible bid for Premier League title success next season - could be arguably better served in stepping up their search for a more defensive-minded midfielder, with the likes of Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin and World Cup winner Sami Khedira believed to be on Wenger's summer radar.
Although Sanchez is able to operate as a striker, Arsenal would also be wise to ensure that they do not remain too heavily reliant on French international Olivier Giroud as their only credible out-and-out forward option in the future.
Wenger could feasibly be planning to offload one of his current players to make room for Firmino of course, although it must be said that rumours linking existing first-team squad members with move away from North London have been somewhat scarce of late.
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A departure from Rhein-Neckar-Arena for Firmino in the coming months would certainly appear vindicated, with the former Figueirense starlet having won several admirers and attracted regular plaudits for his impressive performances in Germany's top-flight last season.
With a striking record of 16 goals in just 33 Bundesliga appearances, Firmino has certainly become one of Hoffenheim's most crucial assets and interest from a number of Europe's top clubs could make it difficult for Markus Gisdol to retain his services for the 2014/15 campaign.
Indeed, whether Chelsea plan to step up their own pursuit in Firmino in the wake of Arsenal's move is unclear.
Jose Mourinho - who has gone about his own transfer business swiftly and without hesitation this summer - is similarly well off in the midfield area, although Firmino's sheer potential could presumably encourage him to make an exception to a recent claim that he was not set to make any further signings during the current transfer window.
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