The Anfield faithful has been treated to some sights over the years, but very few could fathom the extent of Liverpool’s superiority over their fiercest rivals on Sunday afternoon.
Four became five, which became six, and then finally seven. Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United. Utterly remarkable. Reds supporters were in dreamland, and there was nothing sweeter than Roberto Firmino putting what Martin Tyler described as the “cherry on the icing on the cake”.
It’s the one Liverpool fans so desperately wanted.
Firmino’s late strike against United was his 108th for the club, and will be remembered as one of his last after it was revealed ahead of Sunday’s game the Brazilian will depart Anfield following the expiration of his contract in the summer. The 31-year-old will be remembered as a contemporary Liverpool great who played an imperative role in the club’s most prosperous period of the modern era.
And while his significance to Jurgen Klopp’s side has waned in recent times, his exit will be hard felt on Merseyside. What exactly his next adventure will be is unknown, but here are a few possible destinations for Firmino this summer.
The Spanish club have been linked with a move for Firmino, but a deal is only likely to transpire should Joao Felix complete a permament departure this summer.
Felix is currently out on loan at Chelsea and there is no guarantee the Blues will buy him outright at the end of the season. However, with Diego Simeone now poised to remain in the Spanish capital, it appears unlikely for Felix to return to the club.
Thus, Atleti could sign his replacement in Firmino. The 31-year-old may not be at the peak of his powers, but he’s still got a couple more years left at the highest level and he’s the sort of forward Simeone appreciates. The Brazilian possesses plenty of experience, ingenuity both with and without the ball, as well as an unrelenting work ethic.
The current Turkish Super Lig leaders secured quite the coup in the winter when they signed Nicolo Zaniolo from AS Roma and they could add another big name to their ranks this summer.
Reports in the Turkish media suggest Galatasaray have been in contact with Firmino’s management company ROGON and say a move for the 31-year-old is closer than its ever been following recent developments.
The Turkish giants could speak directly with the player soon and are poised to send delegates over to England in a bid to ramp up negotiations.
While a move to Turkey would see Firmino slide out of Europe’s top five leagues, this deal might tempt him if Galatasaray are competing in the Champions League next season which currently appears likely.
Romelu Lukaku’s Inter reunion hasn’t quite gone as planned due to injuries, and the Nerazzurri’s financial situation means it’s unlikely the Belgian will be on their books next season.
Simone Inzaghi has several forward options, including Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa, and Edin Dzeko, but there’s no doubt Inter will at least attempt to bring in a replacement for Lukaku.
While Firmino differs drastically in profile from the Belgian, he represents a cheap option for the Italian club. Inzaghi’s options means he wouldn’t be required to play week in, week out, but he could play a prominent role for the Nerazzurri during the twilight phase of his career.
Inter’s crosstown rivals are also believed to be fans of Firmino and are set to be in the market for a forward this summer. The Brazilian’s former teammate, Divock Origi, has struggled to find any rhythm during his first season in Milan, while Charles De Ketelaere has endured a forgettable start to his career in Italy.
With Olivier Giroud turning 37 at the start of the 2023/24 campaign, the Rossoneri have got to be thinking about succession plans this summer. Like Inter, Milan aren’t blessed with heaps of cash right now and won’t want to spend a huge amount on an alternative forward option, especially if they’re going to tie down Rafael Leão for the long haul with a bumper new contract.
Firmino could be an astute option for the current Scudetto holders. The 31-year-old could operate as a number ten within Stefano Pioli’s framework while Giroud remains on the club’s books.