Jürgen Klopp is confident Roberto Firmino will be the first of Liverpool’s prized assets to commit his future to Anfield, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané also scheduled for new contracts.
Firmino signed a five-year deal worth £180,000-a-week plus incentivised bonuses on Sunday having developed into a crucial member of Klopp’s team. Liverpool have also opened negotiations with representatives of Salah and Mané as they bid to secure their formidable attack for the long term, while Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno are expected to be offered extended terms.
The Brazil international has scored 27 goals and provided 16 assists this season to help Liverpool to the brink of the Champions League final. Klopp, whose team take a 5-2 lead into Wednesday’s semi-final second leg at Roma, believes others will follow Firmino’s lead in giving their best years to Liverpool.
“It’s unbelievably important news for us, really cool,” the Liverpool manager said. “This is one very important step but even Roberto cannot play alone. We need to carry on in this way. In the moment every player knows about our plans. He’s the first [to commit] but for sure he won’t be the last.”
Salah is only one year into the five-year contract he signed when joining from Roma last summer. Liverpool, however, remain in close contact with the Egypt international’s representative, Ramy Abbas, over improving the terms of a player whose phenomenal impact and soaring profile will attract rival interest. Salah was named footballer of the year by the Football Writers’ Association on Tuesday having already been named the Professional Footballers’ Association’s player of the year.
Klopp insists the development of Firmino shows Salah and Mane can both fulfil their ambitions at Anfield, rather than at Real Madrid or Barcelona. He said: “I heard what he [Firmino] said about it being an easy decision for him and I can really imagine that it was. He knows and appreciates absolutely this club. The other boys really respect him for all the work he’s doing.
“This constant discussion about whether he’s undervalued or whatever in public, this never happened for one second either in the club or in the team. He feels completely comfortable and is planning for the long term here. That’s becoming rare because if you are not Barcelona or not Real Madrid then there’s usually another club somewhere you can go to. It’s really good news for us. He’s absolutely a big factor in our future.”