Liverpool and Barcelona are reportedly considering the idea of a swap deal involving Memphis Depay and Roberto Firmino in the January transfer window.
Speculation surrounding Firmino’s future at Anfield is hotting up, as the Brazil international now has less than a year left to run on his existing contract.
As things stand, there are not reported to be any talks between Liverpool and Firmino over an extension, with Jurgen Klopp boasting Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota as his other centre-forward options.
Firmino could therefore open discussions with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement in the January window, although he recently hinted that he was intending to stay on at Anfield.
When asked to create his dream five-a-side team of Liverpool players by the club’s media channels, Firmino picked Mohamed Salah as his fifth and final player and expressed his desire to represent the Reds alongside the 30-year-old for “years”.
“At number five is Mohamed Salah. It is a great privilege to play alongside him, we have a strong bond both on and off the pitch,” Firmino told Liverpool media.
“He is a great player, a great character. It is an honour to play with him and I hope we can keep on bringing the Liverpool fans joy for years to come.”
Should Liverpool and Firmino ultimately agree to part ways, Somos Fanaticos claims that Barcelona would be willing to offer Depay in a January exchange.
The former Lyon man is also under contract at Camp Nou for just another nine months and was expected to move on in the summer window after the signing of Robert Lewandowski.
Despite being pushed down the pecking order, Depay elected to stay and fight for his place in Xavi‘s first XI, but he has only made three appearances in all tournaments this term.
The report adds that Liverpool and Barcelona are both open to offers for the attackers over the winter before watching the pair walk out of the door for nothing in the summer, and talks will ramp up in the coming months.
Depay scored his first goal of the season in a 3-0 win over Elche on September 17, and he affirmed after the game that he still intended to fulfil his silverware ambitions in Catalonia.
“I’m happy to score. When opportunities come to me, I try to contribute to the team. I know what I can offer, and I show that in training. I’m happy to be given a chance today. I’m not playing much this season, but I’ll keep on working in the same way,” Depay told the press.
“I need more match rhythm to give my best for the team. I know I have the ability. I’m happy to go to the national team now, then come back with the desire to win titles in this club.”
However, Depay suffered an injury to his upper leg during the international break – one of several recent fitness concerns for Barcelona – and the severity of the 28-year-old’s issue is currently unclear.
Meanwhile, Firmino has started the 2022-23 campaign with three goals and three assists from eight games in all tournaments, and all but one of those contributions came in his side’s record-equalling 9-0 win over Bournemouth last month.