Atletico Madrid have reportedly identified Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino as a potential summer transfer target.
Although Atletico have not always been known for their goals under Diego Simeone, as many as 14 have been netted in their opening nine La Liga fixtures this season.
The Argentine is currently blessed with a wide array of options with Alvaro Morata, Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann all competing for starting spots in the final third.
Nevertheless, with the long-term future of club-record signing Joao Felix in doubt, Colchoneros may be in the market for a new frontman in 2023.
According to Todofichajes, Atletico and Simeone are admirers of Firmino and may look to make an approach.
The Brazil international has already established himself as a Liverpool legend, contributing 104 goals and 77 assists from his 338 appearances in all competitions.
The 31-year-old is also Liverpool’s best attacking player during 2022-23, chipping in with six strikes and three assists in the Premier League.
As it stands, however, Firmino has less than a year remaining on his contract, and it remains unclear whether the Merseyside giants will renew terms with the forward.
The report suggests that Atletico have already indicated to Firmino’s agent that they wish to sign him on a free transfer in the summer.
Much could depend on whether Firmino is prepared to risk dropping down the pecking order at his current club with big investments having already been made in Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz.
A similar situation may arise at Atletico, but other clubs will enter the equation if Firmino has not signed a new deal by the turn of the year.
The report adds that Newcastle United are monitoring any developments, although the Magpies will only become a potential destination if they are able to secure European football for 2023-24.
While Firmino is not permitted to hold discussions with English clubs in January, he can with foreign teams with the view of penning a pre-contract agreement.