Brazil striker Firmino joins Liverpool from Hoffenheim
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Brazil forward Roberto Firmino joined Liverpool from German side Hoffenheim on Wednesday for a reported fee of 29 million pounds ($45.8 million) that would make him the second most expensive player in the English club’s history.
Liverpool said the 23-year-old Firmino signed a “long-term contract,” subject to a medical examination that will take place after the Copa America.
Firmino, who can play as a striker or as a central or wide attacking midfielder, scored 47 goals in 151 matches for Hoffenheim after joining from Brazilian club Figueirense in December 2010. He has scored four goals in nine appearances for Brazil, including the winner against Venezuela in the Copa America on Sunday.
Liverpool has also signed striker Danny Ings this offseason to help improve its poor goal-scoring record of last season. The Reds scored 52 goals compared to 101 in the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, when Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge struck up a superb partnership up front that almost led the team to the title.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been looking to bolster his forward options with Suarez now at Barcelona and Sturridge having a worrying injury record. Strikers Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert joined Liverpool last offseason but only scored three league goals between them.
Another striker, Andy Carroll, is Liverpool’s record signing at 35 million pounds (then $56 million) in 2011.
Firmino joins fellow Brazil internationals Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva at Liverpool.