Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has broken his silence on Roberto Firmino’s plans to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Brazilian striker’s current deal is set to expire in June this year. He communicated his intentions to Klopp in a meeting a week ago.
Asked about Firmino’s future at Friday’s pre-match press conference, Klopp told reporters: “Yes, he told me. Surprised? Yes, a little bit but I was not hit by surprise, actually it’s a normal thing to do.
“It could go two ways and it was one. And I respect that a lot. It’s completely normal in this kind of long relationship that we have and Bobby has with the club and with most of the players and stuff like this, and with the fans of course.
“It’s pretty special and I loved the reception he got when he came on against United. He told me and then the only other thing he said is, ‘Now I want to bring this wonderful story to a positive end.’ So, that’s it. He is completely here and completely committed, how everybody can imagine. And that’s all we need to know.”
He added: “There’s no time for a goodbye or whatever in this moment, there’s enough time for that later in the season. Whenever he will come back, everybody knows that the song will still be for a long, long time in everybody’s ears I’m pretty sure.
“No problem. I think he’s one of these players that even when he would come with an opposition team, people would be really happy to see him.”
Firmino arrived at Liverpool in 2015 from Hoffenheim in a £21.3m deal.
He has scored 107 goals and provided 78 assists in 352 appearances, forming a formidable partnership with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who is now at Bayern Munich.
The forward has won seven titles with Liverpool, among them the Champions League in the 2018/19 season and the Premier League title a year later.- Soccer24 Zimbabwe