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Roberto Firmino contract stance explained as eight players could leave Liverpool

Liverpool are busy preparing for what is sure to be a hectic run-in for the closing weeks of the season.

The Reds are battling on three fronts as they bid to add more silverware to the Carabao Cup trophy they already have in their possession. Liverpool are competing in the FA Cup and Champions League, as well as fighting with Manchester City for the Premier League title.

And while we are still a few weeks away from the end of the season, there is still talk of what transfer business Liverpool could take part in this summer. With all of this in mind, the ECHO’s Theo Squires hosted a live Q&A on Thursday to answer the most burning questions from readers.

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Pete: I was wondering what your thoughts were on the rejected fixture time request we made for our trip to Newcastle? All other countries seem to accommodate the teams who are representing their country in the latter stages of Europe, why not England . Man City seem to have an unfair advantage on us this week with the game times . Does this refusal surprise you?

TS: The refusal didn’t surprise me at all.

I wouldn’t say they’re trying to stop Liverpool winning the league, just that it’s far easier for the Premier League to do nothing. But it’s a shambolic decision in my opinion.

Rangers made a similar request to the SPFL this week and within 48 hours their game with Motherwell had been brought forward a day. Meanwhile, it’s taken the PL a week to reject Liverpool’s request. Liverpool will have expected the request to be rejected, which says it all really.

David: Is it true Liverpool are interested in Calvin Ramsay?

TS: Without giving too much away, there could certainly be some movement at right-back this summer.

Hayden: When it comes to new contracts what is the situation with Roberto Firmino?

TS: It’s an interesting one with Firmino. For so long he was Liverpool’s go-to man and rarely injured but they have evolved beyond him this season. I agree, I struggle to see Liverpool keeping all three forwards beyond next summer but never say never. Mane has obviously done his own hopes of a new deal no harm, with his agent recently saying talks were on hold until the summer. Plenty has been written about Salah with no breakthrough yet.

I’d imagine the club will see what happens with Salah and Mane and then decide what to do with Firmino. They’ll make an offer they consider fair at some point and will just expect him to want to stay. Then it’s up to the Brazilian if it’s right for him or time to move on.



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David: What position do you see Fabio Carvalho taking up and would Youri Tielemans be of interest?

TS: Carvalho plays as number 10 for Fulham but obviously Liverpool play without such a player. My personal hunch is he could be used as a false nine and a long-term replacement for Firmino. But for a player so young, the club has plenty of time to mould him into a winger or CM if they wish.

Regarding Tielemans, not heard anything either way from the club as it stands. But you would imagine they could be in the market for a new midfielder come the summer, with Milner out of contract and Oxlade-Chamberlain looking like he might move on too.

Thanks2Shanks: Can you see Man City dropping another two points while we drop none to nick it?

TS: Spurs is the big one for me, what with them pushing for top four. But they are inconsistent and Liverpool can beat anyone. On paper the Reds’ run-in is tougher but Liverpool and City are so strong, it doesn’t matter much these days.

City having Real Madrid twice in around their fixtures with Watford, Leeds and Newcastle could make things difficult for them. As the FA Cup final with Chelsea could for Liverpool, in between midweek clashes with Villa and Southampton. But I think we all just assume City will win every game.

Take a leaf out of Jurgen’s book and take Liverpool’s run-in a game at a time while assuming City will win. If they drop points, Liverpool are on hand to pounce. If I was a betting man, I’d say it’s City’s title, but fancy Liverpool for a cup treble!

David: How many signings do you expect in the summer?

TS: Personally I think Liverpool need a new right-back, a couple of midfielders and a forward. If Adrian goes at the end of his contract, there might be a need for an experienced goalkeeper too.

Carvalho will seemingly cover the forward option, leaving the Reds with six senior options if Origi and Minamino both leave. If one of the traditional front three go, you can expect them to move for a replacement too.

This season they could have done with another option as the deep midfielder as back-up to Fabinho, to save Henderson from playing every game. With Milner and potentially Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving, it leaves a vacancy for such a player. Elliott and Jones could play more but there is also an argument for another option too, with Klopp seeing the benefit of vast depth this year.

At right-back, if Neco Williams stays then they won’t need another one but if he moves on, a more natural back-up then Gomez is preferred.

Anything else depends on first team exits, so if Gomez pushed for a move for eg.

So I reckon three or four potentially, with Carvalho being the first.

Liam: Who do you think Liverpool will sign in midfield not who they should?

TS: Can’t offer any concrete names at this time with Liverpool keeping cards close to their chest as they weigh up options, but I think they will sign a midfielder who can play number six, but is also comfortable as number eight.

David: If you were manager who would you sign for midfield and if a new keeper comes will it be a low profile name?

TS: Regarding a new goalkeeper if Adrian goes, they’ll either trust one of the kids they’ve got to be third-choice or look for someone experienced, like they did with Manninger and Lonergan in the past. IF Kelleher has had enough being number two, the situation becomes more complicated.

Someone like Kalvin Phillips could fit the bill in midfield.

Louise: Who do you think will leave in the summer, do you think Curtis Jones could go out on loan?

TS: Origi and Karius will go at the end of their contracts. Milner and Adrian are currently set to leave when their own deals expire too. I expect Minamino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Neco Williams and Nat Phillips to be available, then it’s just whether the club receives any suitable bids or not.

I think Keita will get his new contract. Jones could potentially play more with midfield departures. Same for Elliott. The likes of Jones and Gomez will only go if they push for an exit.

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