Jurgen Klopp admits 'surprise' at Roberto Firmino's Liverpool exit decision & reveals forward's last Anfield wish
- Firmino to leave Anfield on a free this summer
- Klopp had wanted Brazilian to stay
- 31-year-old hoping for emotional Reds farewell
WHAT HAPPENED? Firmino informed Klopp in a face-to-face meeting last week that he intends to leave Anfield when his contract expires at the end of the campaign. Liverpool had made an offer to the Brazilian to stay at the club for at least another year, but the 31-year-old will now seek a new challenge after eight years on Merseyside.
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WHAT THEY SAID: 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 that 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 [Manchester] 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.
“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.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Firmino has made 354 appearances for Liverpool since joining from Hoffenheim in 2015, scoring 108 goals and playing a huge role in the teams which won the Champions League, Premier League, Club World Cup, League Cup and FA Cup across a three-year spell between 2019 and 2022.
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WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? The Reds are back in Premier League action this Saturday when they travel to Bournemouth (12.30pm GMT).