Manchester United have joined the pack of clubs chasing highly-rated Brazilian star Roberto Firmino, and could look to bring him in in the near future.
That’s at least according the Daily Express, who cite sources in Germany when claiming that the Red Devils are now ready to go toe-to-toe with Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea in a four-way fight for Firmino’s services.
The Bundesliga star, who has seen his excellent efforts for Hoffenheim this term rewarded with a call up to the Brazil national squad, currently ranks amongst the hottest prospects in Europe, and at 23-years-of-age it’s fair to assume that he has the time and ability to successfully make the step up to English football.
On the face of it that’s what the Premier League’s biggest clubs supposedly think anyway, with Firmino’s performance in helping Hoffenheim salvage a 3-3 draw against Cologne at the weekend - he was involved in all of his side’s goals - sure to have given suitors food for thought.
It can be said with little doubt that United fans will question why Van Gaal is said to be chasing another attack-minded talent, with there already being a dangerously high level of competition for the attacking spots at Old Trafford already.
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The likes of Juan Mata are currently struggling to get a game, and prioritising the capture of another playmaker over a strong centre-back won’t endear the United boss to his fans any.
It’s a similar situation at Stamford Bridge, with Jose Mourinho’s frontline so far having been markedly improved on last season. The likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Francesc Fabregas look extremely comfortable playing between Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa, and so it’s difficult to see where Firmino would fit in were he to move to west London.
Liverpool best suited
No, at the moment it’s Liverpool who are his most well-suited admirers. The Reds spent handsomely to try and fill the void left by Luis Suarez’s departure, but have so far failed in their endeavours and, following this weekend’s loss at home to Chelsea, sit a poultry 11th in the table.
Firmino might not be a certainty to perform well in England but he’d definitely add more creativity to the mix, and at the moment it looks as though Brendan Rodgers will need far better than what he’s got if the Reds are to make the Champions League places once more.