Liverpool set to open talks over deal for Roberto Firmino

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Liverpool are set to open talks over a deal for Roberto Firmino, the exciting young Hoffenheim playmaker who has also been linked with Premier League rivals Chelsea.

According to reports from Germany cited by the Metro, Reds chief executive Ian Ayre is set to travel to commence negotiations over the £15 million-rated Brazilian with manager Brendan Rodgers keen to pursue a deal.

A hugely gifted midfielder, Firmino has made quite an impression in the Bundesliga in recent months, notching 16 goals and providing a further 11 assists in 33 appearances last season.

Such stellar form for one so young has led to increased speculation over his future, with previous speculation having suggested that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was eager to press ahead with a potential move, with Firmino - who sadly did not make Luiz Felipe Scolari's 23-man squad for the World Cup - seen as a strong signing to compliment the imminent arrival of Diego Costa.

Despite that interest from Chelsea, however, it appears that it is Liverpool who have managed to manoeuvre themselves into pole position in the race for the 22-year-old's signature.

With the club also having been linked with respective moves for Schalke starlet Max Meyer and MK Dons midfielder Dele Alli, it appears that Rodgers is not willing to waste any time this summer in an obvious attempt to lay the foundations for the future of his midfield.

While the likes of Alli would presumably not be quite yet ready to test themselves on a weekly basis at Anfield just yet, Firmino has proved himself more than capable of impressing at the top level of European football and would surely be able to strongly contend for an immediate first-team berth upon his arrival on Merseyside.

Indeed, quite whether Liverpool's impending talks for Firmino will tempt Chelsea into formalising a bid of their own for the player remains to be seen.

Liverpool fans will be hoping that such a deal can be concluded before Mourinho has a chance to re-focus his attentions following the recent arrival of Cesc Fabregas.

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