Barcelona are actively looking to sign a replacement for Luis Suarez and have identified Liverpool frontman Roberto Firmino as the perfect fit, according to reports in Spain.
The Uruguayan’s goal tally has fallen in each of the last two seasons, while he only has three goals in 11 appearances in all competitions this campaign.
Suarez will turn 32 in January and El Chiringuito de Jugones report that Barca have made finding an heir their top priority, with Firmino number one on their list.
Barca fear Suarez is on a downward curve and want to replace him (Picture: Getty)
There are concerns over Suarez’s physical ability as he enters the twilight of his career, but Firmino’s aggressive pressing and work rate is seen as a big step up.
The Brazilian would be an ideal foil for Lionel Messi, while he has already been given a glowing recommendation from former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
Barca’s hierarchy intend to use the same approach that convinced Coutinho to leave Anfield on Firmino and have already begun putting steps in place to sign him.
However, unlike the Coutinho deal, Barca do not believe they are in a position to sign Firmino in January and will instead wait until next summer to mount their pursuit.
Coutinho has been key to Barca’s interest, recommending Firmino to the club (Picture: Getty)
Firmino enjoyed the most prolific season of his career to date last year, scoring 27 times in all competitions – though that is actually less than what Suarez scored.
But Barca are attracted more to his ‘fighting’ qualities than his goalscoring record, and believe his style of play – more like a false nine – would take the side’s attacking play to a new level.