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Liverpool Transfer News: Roberto Firmino Boost, Major Sami Khedira Rumours

Published by Bleacher Report on Fri, 13 Mar 2015

Hoffenheim are "happy to sell" playmaker Roberto Firmino, a revelation that has seen Liverpool and Arsenal reported as favourites to land his signature.German publication Bild, translated by Alex Harris of the Daily Star, believes thatHoffenheim "will sell him at the end of the season." Jamie Sanderson ofMetro, citing the sameBildarticle, indicates Liverpool "are now in the race" to land the 20 million-rated player.Sandersonalso suggests thatArsene Wenger could eye Firmino as a replacement for Santi Cazorla, who continues to be linked with a move to Atletico Madrid. Firmino's qualities can be seen below:Sports writer Alex Chaffer reports that the Premier League sides may run into German competition when trying to sign the star:Bleacher Report's Stefan Bienkowski believes the player is worth more than his rumoured buyout clause:Firmino has scored six goals and assisted seven more in the Bundesliga this season, per WhoScored.com. He is most often stationed behind the striker but can play further forward or out wide if needed. He is an all-round player, someone who contributes across the pitch.This is highlighted by the 23-year-old's impressive range of stats. He averages three shots and 4.2 dribbles per game, while also mucking in defensively, making an average of 2.8 tackles and 1.1 interceptions, recorded by WhoScored.Hoffenheim have performed well this year and are currently seventh in the Bundesliga, five points off a Europa League place. Roger Wittmann, Firmino's representative, states thatHoffenheim already know the player will move on at the end of the season, per Bild (h/t Harris): "We had agreed that Roberto only can go in the summer when Hoffenheim will agree with a club about a transfer."Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will undoubtedly look to secure additional talent in the summer. While Firmino isn't the same type of midfielder as the departing Steven Gerrard, his industry could help fill the void left by the Los Angeles-bound star.Spanish publication Marca (h/t Jon Harvey ofMetro) suggests that potential target Sami Khedira "does not want a move to the Premier League" and has opted to join Schalke from Real Madrid. Although this is yet to be officially confirmed, his free transfer stands to rank among the bargains of the summer.Interestingly, B/R UK tactics man Sam Tighe doesn't believe Firmino or Khedira would make it into a Liverpool dream team for next season:Rodgers added quantity last summer, so he may look to round the squad out with world-class quality when the market reopens. Firmino has blossomed nicely at Hoffenheim and is ready to make the next step. He can be expected to continue improving over the next couple of years, particularly if he's given the opportunity to shine on the European stage.Khedira's arrival at Anfield has always been unlikely. Considering his injury record and expected wage demands, Liverpool fans are sure to accept speculation of his reported agreement with Schalke without becoming too upset.
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