By DAN KARELL
One of the top young players in the Bundesliga is making his big move to the English Premier League.
Days after scoring for Brazil at the 2015 Copa America, 23-year-old forward Roberto Firmino has signed a long-term contract with Liverpool, pending a medical examination that will take place following the tournament. According to multiple reports in England, the deal for Firmino will cost Liverpool up to £29 million ($45.66 million) and he’s signed a five-year contract.
The deal was sealed late Tuesday night after Liverpool Chief Executive Officer Ian Ayre made the trip from Liverpool to Santiago to negotiate the transfer with Firmino’s representatives. Firmino even reportedly got a glowing report on Liverpool from Brazil National Team teammate Philippe Coutinho, which helped the deal get signed.
Firmino has spent the last four-and-a-half seasons at TSG Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, growing as a player outside of the Brazilian spotlight. He had a breakout season in 2013/2014, scoring 16 league goals, fourth-most in the league.
While he only scored seven league goals this past season, Firmino did take advantage of the lack of options at center forward for the Selecao and pushed his way into the starting lineup. Firmino scored in a pre-tournament friendly match against Honduras and then scored the game-winning-goal last Sunday against Venezuela.
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TURAN WANTS ENGLAND MOVE, CHELSEA EYE GRIEZMANN
Two more Atletico Madrid starters could be following their former teammates footsteps with moves to the English Premier League.
Turkish midfielder Arda Turan could be on the move to England, according to his agent, after spending the last four seasons in the Spanish capital playing for Diego Simeone.
“He intends to leave Spain this summer. It is his will to go out to play in the Premiership, that is where he would like to continue his career at this time,” Turan’s agent Ahmet Bulut told Diario AS in Spain. “His departure from Atletico is not easy because he has a clause of €41 million. There are ongoing talks with three teams at the moment. I cannot say their names, but they are the best of England and European football.”
Bulut confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan have reached out over Turan’s availability but Bulut said that Turan prefers a move to England right now.
Meanwhile, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport in Italy, Chelsea are willing to offer Atleti a €50 million (nearly $56 million) package including winger Mohamed Salah in exchange for Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann is coming off a star year for Atleti, scoring 22 league goals in 29 games and another three goals in all competitions.
ATLETI SET TO SIGN PORTO’S MARTINEZ
With transfer target Carlos Tevez looking more likely to head to Argentina, Atletico Madrid have reportedly inked a different South American forward for next season.
According to Marca, Jackson Martinez’s agent has confirmed that the Colombian forward will move to Atletico Madrid this summer. The report states the deal will be worth €35 million ($39.19 million), which was Martinez’s release clause.
The 28-year-old forward has scored at least 20 league goals in each of the last three seasons for Porto, and last season he scored eight goals in 10 UEFA Champions League games.
AS Roma have agreed to pay €22 million to Cagliari for the full rights of Radja Nainggolan. (REPORT)
Arsenal have inked the signing of the incredibly named Vlad Dragomir, a member of Romania’s Under-16 National Team, for €100,000. (REPORT)
VfB Stuttgart have completed the signings of Przemyslaw Tyton and Lukas Rupp. (REPORT)
Former Argentine National Team forward Javier Saviola has completed his medical to sign for his former club River Plate. (REPORT)
Manchester City will face sister club Melbourne City in Australia on July 18 in a pre-season friendly. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Firmino succeeding with Liverpool? Surprised to see the Reds sign him? Do you see Turan and Griezmann moving to England this summer?
Share your thoughts below.