Aston Villa transfer news: Fresh claim emerges on Gerrard potentially signing £34.2m star

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Pundit Carlton Palmer believes Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is not out of Aston Villa’s reach, but any deal is unlikely to take place in the January transfer window.

The 30-year-old has slipped down the pecking order at Anfield this season and may feel compelled to seek pastures new at the end of the current campaign.

What is the latest news involving Firmino?

In recent years, Firmino has formed one-third of a devastating forward line including Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, firing the Reds to a Champions League crown and a Premier League title.

Between 2017/18 and 2019/20, the 55-cap Brazil international racked up 55 goals and 38 assists in 154 appearances for the Anfield outfit.

However, Firmino’s productivity has dropped significantly over the last 18 months as Jurgen Klopp has begun to favour Diogo Jota over the South American sensation.

In his last 63 outings, the creative talent has bagged just 15 goals and provided only 12 assists, highlighting his drop-off in performance levels.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

With Salah, Mane and Firmino all entering the final 18 months of their current contracts on Merseyside, some big changes could well take place in the coming months.

But Palmer believes Klopp will wait until the summer to reshuffle his first-team squad due to Salah and Mane’s participation in the African Cup of Nations this winter.

What has Palmer said about Firmino?

In a recent interview on talkSPORT, pundit Tony Cascarino outlined Villa Park as a possible destination for Firmino due to Steven Gerrard’s extensive connections, and Palmer agrees with the former Republic of Ireland international.

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He told GiveMeSport: “No, I don’t think Tony’s out of the ordinary with saying what he said. I think we all know that Steven Gerrard has good ties with Liverpool, with the hierarchy there. He’s also good friends with Jurgen Klopp.

“So, it’s not out of the ordinary, but my issue with that one is I just don’t see how Liverpool are going to let any big names go right now with losing players for the African Cup of Nations. So Firmino, they’re going to lose Salah, they’re going to lose Mane; I don’t see how they’re going to let him go in the January transfer window.”

Would Firmino be a good signing for Villa?

Villa already possess two top-class strikers in their side in the shape of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, but the arrival of Firmino would surely be warmly welcomed.

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The added experience and class of someone who has 150 career goals and over 100 assists alongside an envious trophy collection is something that could only strengthen Gerrard’s hand in the Midlands.

Whether Villa make a move remains to be seen, but Firmino – who is valued at £34.2m by Transfermarkt – would be a significant coup for a side currently languishing in the bottom half of the top-flight table.

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