Liverpool attacker offered to Inter Milan in a deal that will hand Boehly unwanted Chelsea headache
Liverpool are increasingly likely to lose a big-name attacker this summer with his agent reportedly preparing for his move and offering his client to Inter Milan.
Jurgen Klopp has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal at Anfield. They began preparations for the new season by tying talismanic forward Mohamed Salah down to a bumper new contract. And with Darwin Nunez also signing up in what will likely prove a club-record deal, Sadio Mane was allowed to depart for Bayern Munich.
Mane’s absence has perhaps been badly felt with Nunez not having anywhere near the same sort of impact. But Klopp still boasts a wealth of options, having also signed Luis Diaz from FC Porto in January 2022.
Furthermore, they also have Diogo Jota on their books while a signing that pre-dates Klopp’s time at the club, Roberto Firmino, is also in the mix.
As such, it came as something of a surprise when Liverpool ghosted in to sign Cody Gakpo last month from under Manchester United’s noses.
And while injuries have bitten hard at Anfield this season, Klopp basically has six top-class forwards to select from.
Despite the strong competition, Firmino is enjoying his best season for some time. And although injury means he has not featured since before the World Cup, he still has nine goals and four assists from 20 appearances this season.
That record of a goal involvement every 1.5 appearances this season underlines exactly why Klopp values the star so highly. Described as the ‘heart and soul’ of Liverpool, the player is a hugely-popular figure at Anfield.
Roberto Firmino on Inter Milan’s radar
However, his £180,000 a week deal at Anfield is due to expire in just four months time. Discussions over a renewal have been going on for some time. But as it stands there is yet to be an agreement reached.
And with time ticking along, the prospects of Firmino departing are beginning to gather momentum.
Indeed, the Brazilian will have no shortage of admirers. The likes of Juventus are among those keen, while more recently, Firmino has been mentioned as a target for both his boyhood team as well as some Saudi Arabian behmoths.
However, Firmino is still only 31 and seemingly wants to continue playing at the top level for now.
As such, il Gazzetta dello Sport claims Firmino’s agent is looking to offer his client to Inter Milan.
Simeone Inzaghi’s side will likely be able to offer Champions League football next season, which is the level Firmino still sees himself at.
And the report claims the Nerazzurri are giving serious thoughts to offering him a deal this summer.
Indeed, the chance of landing Firmino on a free transfer are reportedly of genuine interest to the Italian side. And il Gazzetta states that Firmino fits into the criteria of what Inzaghi wants in his central striker.
Romelu Lukaku likely to return to Chelsea
However, the report states that Firmino’s prospects of securing a move to the San Siro depend entirely on Romelu Lukaku’s future.
The Belgian striker returned to the San Siro last summer after a year of struggle at Chelsea.
His loan deal though did not offer the Italians an option to buy, with Inter unlikely to be able to afford whatever fee Chelsea put on him.
However, Inter would have been open to the prospect of signing Lukaku on loan for a second season.
That said, his second spell at the San Siro has not gone to plan. The 29-year-old has just two goals and 11 appearances to his name after struggling to overcome a plethora of injuries.
As such, Inzaghi and Co are now extremely hesitant over bringing Lukaku back on loan.
Should that happen, Lukaku will find himself returning to Chelsea. That, though, poses a new problem in itself with Lukaku seemingly a long way down the pecking order.
Until recently, the £97.5m striker was Chelsea’s record buy. And while that deal has since been topped by Enzo Fernandez’s arrival, he still represents something of an expensive millstone round the club’s neck.
To that end, his return to Stamford Bridge will pose Blues co-owner Todd Boehly with something of an unwelcome headache.
Contracted to the club until 2026, the Blues co-owner will be left with two choices. Firstly, he can either try and see if Potter can accommodate him in his side. Secondly, and perhaps most favourably, the Blues could try and offload the player once again.
However, given his vast wages and costs involved, Chelsea may find it harder than ever to find a taker.
READ MORE ~ Transfer Gossip: Boehly sanctions unthinkable Chelsea sale with Liverpool set to pounce
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