Liverpool ‘need to buy’ a new centre-forward to replace the Brazilian star Roberto Firmino this summer transfer market, according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce.
The 29-year-old striker is completely off the boil this campaign, scoring just six Premier League goals – just one in his last 14 games, across all competitions – and struggling in his all-round game.
Roberto was again ineffective in last weekend’s 2-0 loss at home to Everton, fluffing his lines terribly with one shot that flew into the Kop end.
James has described the South American as a ‘spluttering’ influence on this Reds team, adding that the Anfield side ‘need someone capable of running in behind and getting on the end of crosses’.
He is spot on in his assessment, with Roberto genuinely looking like a weak-link the latest weeks.
That is a painful admission, given what a great player he has been for the club, but Firmino is such a focal point that his shortcomings are affecting Liverpool.
He can still be an excellent roster player for years to come, but his time as an important starter every week appears to be coming to an end.
The former Hoffenheim star has been ineffective for too long now, and while fatigue is clearly playing a part Firmino simply looks past his best.
Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are hoping to convince Lille’s Dutch defender Sven Botman to join them over Jurgen Klopp’s team, reports say.
The 21-year-old has been in fine form for Les Dogues this term, which has earned him links with a host of heavyweight clubs across the continent.
Liverpool are among the clubs to have been tipped to swoop for Botman in the January window, but an approach for the defender did not materialise.
France Football reports that Spurs also hold an interest in the player, who is understood to be valued at around £40 million.
Liverpool are reportedly keen on Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic, according to a recent report by Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Serbian centre-half looks set to be engaged in a transfer tug-of-war this summer as Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United join the pursuit.
Milenkovic’s deal expires in the summer of 2022 and the Anfield side are believed to have made their interest known towards the player’s agents.
Gazzetta dello Sport stated that the 23-year-old is ‘destined’ to move to England and this summer could present the final chance for Fiorentina to demand a premium sum for their prized asset.
Milenkovic, who is rated at £25.2m by Transfermarkt, has appeared in all but two of his side’s Serie A matches this campaign.
It remains to be seen whether deadline day arrivals Ben Davies or Ozan Kabak will have a long-term future at Liverpool.
The Turkish ace is essentially on a six-month trial before his loan agreement expires; and having yet to make his Liverpool debut since stepping up from the EFL Championship outfit Preston, Davies remains an unknown quantity at the top level.
Therefore, landing a centre-back is likely to be high on the list of priorities in the summer given the injury problems throughout this season, and Milkenovic would be the perfect candidate.
This season, the Serbian talent has won a higher percentage of duels than the Merseyside giants’ three absent frontline centre-halves.
Meantime, Tottenham Hotspur are allegedly hoping to convince Lille centre-back Sven Botman to sign for them over Premier League rivals Liverpool.
Liverpool‘s pursuit of Sevilla attacker Lucas Ocampos may have been given a boost after a fresh report from Argentina stated that the 26-year-old forward is ‘keen’ on the move.
Having originally been reported by Spanish publication La Razon as a possible target for the Reds, who would use flop attacker Takumi Minamino as a makeweight, this new report from the Sevilla man’s homeland publication El Intrasigente suggests that a summer deal could be done.
The report outlined that the Argentine star’s former club River Plate maintain a vested interest in the player’s next move because of a clause that means they could be set for a payday.
Lucas has been an integral part of the La Liga club for some time now and helped to inspire last campaign’s Europa League success.
Capped five times by his country, the versatile player was previously wanted by the Reds’ Merseyside rivals Everton before signing for Sevilla, where he was named the signing of the campaign in La Liga for 2019/20.
Under contract until June 2024 and with an exit cause believed to be set at £62 million, a desire from him to join as well as Takumi heading in the other direction could be important in making a reported deal a reality.
The signing of Lucas would be a step in the right direction as manager Jurgen Klopp looks to build a roster to mount a sustained title challenge once again next term.
Recently, Sevilla’s senior figure Monchi expressed his desire to bring in the former Red Bull Salzburg ace and there could be a deal to be done there.