Liverpool are poised to announce the completed signing of forward Roberto Firmino after the Brazil international passed his medical with the Merseyside outfit.
This is according to the Liverpool Echo, who understand the deal to bring the 23-year-old to Anfield from German club Hoffenheim has now been finalised.
Liverpool doctor Andy Massey flew to Sao Paulo to complete the medical tests on Friday and Saturday - and Firmino will join up with his new teammates for pre-season training following a holiday.
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The South American was part of Brazil’s Copa America squad that was defeated by Paraguay in the quarter-finals and is currently relaxing for another fortnight before embarking on what promises to be a gruelling debut campaign in the Premier League.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will need Firmino to hit the ground running at Anfield, particularly after encouraging the Reds to shell out a cool £29 million for his services.
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Rodgers needs Firmino to flourish
Rodgers was reportedly close to being sacked as Liverpool manager at the end of last season, after the five-time European champions finished sixth in the Premier League table, but held onto his job following showdown talks with the club’s owners.
However, there’s every chance the Liverpool hierarchy will dismiss Rodgers before Christmas unless there is real sign of improvement and the club are back on course to qualify for the Champions League following a one-season absence.
That former Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp is currently out of work - and is reportedly keen to manage in the Premier League after the New Year - must be of real concern to the under-pressure Rodgers.
Keen to ensure Liverpool get off to the best possible start next season, Rodgers has already signed several players to bolster his squad.
James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogan, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne have all put pen to paper on deals with the Reds, while Christian Benteke is expected to complete a £25 million move from Aston Villa.
Babel tips Firmino to become a Liverpool star
Firmino, who scored 49 goals in 153 appearances for Hoffenheim, has been tipped to ‘bring joy’ to the Liverpool supporters by his former teammate - and ex-Reds’ winger - Ryan Babel.
"He is a tricky player,” the Dutchman told Liverpool’s official website. “He can dribble, shoot, he has a great shot, he can play a lot of through balls and his assists are very good.
"He is actually also great at heading, which maybe you wouldn't think because he's not that tall, but he's very good at it.
"He's the kind of player that likes the ball at his feet and to do nice things with it, but something he learned in Germany was how to work without the ball and defend. I know how important that is in England, what you do without the ball. It was something he had to learn in Germany.
"I'm very happy for him. He's very talented and now it is down to him. He is the kind of player that can give a lot of joy to Liverpool fans because he's a very skilful player."
Firmino could make his Premier League debut on August 9, when Liverpool travel to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City.
Liverpool fans: are you confident Roberto Firmino will be a success at Anfield? How many goals do you expect him to score next season? Have your say in the comments below!
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