Roberto Firmino has emphasised that he “wants to stay” at Liverpool, ahead of a potentially decisive summer as he heads into the final year of his contract.
One of six Liverpool players whose contract expires in 2023, little has been spoken of Firmino’s future when compared to that of his fellow forwards.
Both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have been the subject of heavy speculation when it comes to their deals, with the pair questioned on their situation during the buildup to the Champions League final.
For many years their foil up front, Firmino’s future has been largely overlooked, as part of a lower-profile group along with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adrian, whose deals are also up in just over a year’s time.
“I’m very happy here,” he said, as translated by Reddit user conradofs.
“I’m grateful to God to be here playing at a great club with great players, winning titles, and my wish is to stay.
“I want to be here, I’m happy here, and that’s all I can say – I want to stay.”
Whether Liverpool will offer Firmino a new deal remains to be seen, though it is almost certain that talks are planned with his representatives at the end of the season.
It is clear that the No. 9 will be the least awkward when it comes to discussions over an extended stay at Anfield, but it is also the case that his commitment will be a lower priority than Salah and Mane.
Persistent injury problems have seen Firmino drop down the pecking order in recent seasons, with Diogo Jota posing a genuine threat to his first-choice starting spot and, more recently, Mane excelling in the centre-forward role.
This season, he has made only 34 appearances in all competitions – by far the fewest of any of his seven campaigns with Liverpool – and is averaging only 52.7 minutes on the pitch per outing.
He has lost his place in the Brazil squad due to the poor timing of his fitness issues, and it is now doubtful he will be called up for the 2022 World Cup.
But Firmino’s value to Liverpool remains weighty, having still scored 11 goals and laid on five assists so far this season, averaging a direct goal contribution every 111.9 minutes.
And if he is eager to stay, perhaps on a less-lucrative salary, it may be a no-brainer.