Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Brazilian playmaker Roberto Firmino, despite interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

Firmino has been a name linked with Liverpool for over a year now and recent reports indicate that the Merseysiders are finally looking to seal the deal for a sum near the region of A?18.6million, despite interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal and Manchester United (who have recently been linked with the player). It was reported back in February 2014 that Liverpool will make a bid for Hoffenheim star Roberto Firmino at the end of the 13-14 season after making him a top transfer target. While that didn’t happen, obviously, it seems that Liverpool’s scouting of him didn’t stop and they’re finally ready to ensure Firmino is headed to Anfield and will fight for his signature this summer.

Roberto Firmino plays for Bundesliga club Hoffenheim and has been likened to compatriot and Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho.

Firmino has incredible awareness and vision in the attacking third and his dominance in that crucial part of the pitch makes him an even more attractive prospect. The 23-year old can play on the wings or as a secondary striker but prefers to play as an attacking midfielder. While playing on the wings, he likes to cut inside regularly which shows his inclination to be present centrally. He possesses sublime skills and is a tremendous dribbler of the ball. In fact, in the past two seasons only Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard have got more successful dribbles in Europe’s top leagues. He has the ability to make intricate passes and has the eye for goal. His ability to pick the perfect pass coupled with his excellent vision and awareness make him a huge threat. What make him an even bigger asset is his impressive defensive contribution. The Brazilian tracks back regularly and helps in the defence when required to. He has six goals and seven assists in 25 Bundesliga games. Last season, he got 16 goals for Hoffenheim, an achievement that earned him a Brazilian call up.

Firmino will be a great addition to the Liverpool team as he possesses incredible talent and the fact that he can be operated in several positions will make him an even more attractive option for Brendan Rodgers, who has time and again stated his love for “multi-functional” players. He fits the FSG model as he is 23 and will have significant resale value. To conclude, he will be a great fit for Liverpool. However, the Reds are likely to face severe competition for his signature and in the end, might have to pay a lot more than the reported A?18.6million to land his services.