Liverpool have completed the signing of Brazil forward Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim in a £21.3m deal, Sky Sports reports. Formerly with Figueirense in Brazil, Firmino can play anywhere across the front three, and is currently on Copa America duty with Brazil. Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre flew to Chile to get the deal done, and did so in the early hours of Wednesday morning, UK time – though the deal is still subject to a medical that will not take place until after Brazil have concluded their participation in the Copa America.
Sky Sports News HQ understands that Liverpool will pay £21.3m now, but the fee could eventually rise to £28m which would make him Liverpool’s second most expensive player after Andy Carroll. Firmino, 23, is Liverpool’s fifth signing of the summer as boss Brendan Rodgers rebuilds his squad following a disappointing Premier League campaign. Danny Ings, Adam Bodgan, Joe Gomez and James Milner have also been brought in.
The Reds have so far resisted two offers from Manchester City for Raheem Sterling but Firmino’s arrival – on what Sky sources understand is a five-year deal – could see City resurrect their interest in the England international. Firmino arrived at Hoffenheim at the start of 2011 having been signed for £3.52m as a 19-year-old, and has scored 48 times in 152 appearances for the German side, notching seven times in the Bundesliga last term.
And he was also on target for Brazil in their 2-1 Copa America victory over Venezuela on Sunday. In the absence of Neymar, who has been suspended for the rest of the event, Firmino and Philippe Coutinho – now Liverpool team-mates – are set to start again in Saturday’s quarter final against Paraguay.