Gunners plot Roberto Firmino raid from Hoffenheim?
Arsenal will hope to secure the signing of Hoffenheim’s Brazilian playmaker Roberto Firmino this summer, as they look for a potential replacement for the possibly departing Santi Cazorla.
The Gunners, 10/3 for an FA Cup triumph, face the possibility of losing their Spanish midfield maestro Cazorla, with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid having recently expressed a desire to acquire his services.
Arsene Wenger has now begun a hopeful search for a replacement, with Firminio reportedly high on his wish-list, as Hoffenheim’s star man continues to shine this season.
The German club’s £20m-rated goalscoring midfielder has been tracked by Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley in recent months, with the Gunners aiming to secure the signing of another creative attacking midfielder for next term.
Firmino has been in superb form for the Bundesliga outfit, striking six times in his 23 domestic league appearances, with four of the five games in which he has scored ending in victories and three points.
The 23-year-old is a pacey, creative and technically gifted attacker, with ferocious forward qualities which would fit perfectly into Wenger’s outfit, having previously been involved in his native country’s last three selected squads. At international level, Firmino has managed to net one goal in two appearances for Brazil in his short career so far.
Hoffenheim’s sublime Samba star has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs after his brilliant Bundesliga displays, with Turin titans Juventus also reportedly hoping to rival Arsenal for Firmino’s signature.
With Gabriel Paulista having recently arrived at Arsenal, Firmino would join his international counterpart, plus fellow South American stars Alexis Sanchez and Damian Martinez, in the Gunners squad.
Diego Simeone’s Spanish champions Atleti are looking increasingly likely to make a swoop for clinical Cazorla this summer, with his contract expiring in 12 months.
The 30-year-old has been a star performer for Wenger’s top-four hopefuls this term, and his departure would certainly leave a gaping hole in Arsenal’s central attacking options, with the former La Liga midfielder having struck eight times this current campaign.
Although, Firmino’s creative spark could provide the Gunners with the attacking attributes needed to fill that possible void, with Hoffenheim’s Brazilian having dazzled in Germany this term.
Arsenal will need plenty of attacking threat to overturn a poor Champions League result against Monaco, and are 20/1 to reach this year’s final in Berlin.