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Atletico Madrid 'identify Liverpool's Roberto Firmino as Joao Felix replacement'

Atletico 'identify Firmino as Joao Felix replacement'
© Reuters
Atletico Madrid reportedly identify Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino as an ideal replacement for Joao Felix, who has been linked with a permanent switch to Chelsea.

Atletico Madrid have reportedly identified Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino as a possible replacement for Joao Felix.

Firmino's future at Anfield beyond this summer remains uncertain, with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season.

Talks over an extension for the Brazilian have been ongoing, and an agreement between the two parties is thought to be close.

However, Firmino is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal and, with less than six months to go until the end of his contract, he is currently able to discuss terms with foreign clubs over a free transfer.

Spanish outlet Cadena SER reports that Atletico have earmarked the 31-year-old as a possible free agent target as they look to add attacking reinforcements for next season.

Diego Simeone's side allowed Joao Felix to join Chelsea on loan in January and, while that agreement does not contain an option or obligation to buy, Felix is expected to be made available for a permanent exit this summer.

Chelsea's Joao Felix during the match  on January 12, 2023© Reuters

Chelsea have already been linked with making his loan move permanent, with the possibility of including Mason Mount in any deal in order to reduce the transfer fee.

Despite their desire to sell, Atletico are reportedly still hopeful of recouping up to €100m (£88.3m) for Felix, having spent £113m to bring him to the club in 2019.

Replacing Felix with Firmino would therefore represent a major profit for the Madrid outfit in next summer's window.

Firmino is still expected to stay with Liverpool, though, with both parties having publicly expressed their desire to extend his time at Anfield.

The Brazil international joined Liverpool from Hoffenheim in 2015 and has since gone on to make 350 appearances for the club, scoring 107 goals and creating 78 more.

Firmino has featured more often than any other player for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Community Shield during his time on Merseyside.

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