Liverpool legend named as 'potential option' for Chelsea

Former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been named as a 'potential option' for Chelsea this January transfer window.

The 32-year-old left Anfield last summer upon expiry of his contract, joining Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli.

Firmino's exit was an emotional one. The Brazilian held back the tears as he was applauded on the Anfield pitch last May, after bringing an end to an eight-year stay at Liverpool that saw him win a host of trophies under Jurgen Klopp.

As well as forming one of the best attacks in the club's history alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Firmino's 82 goals means he is the all-time top scoring Brazilian in Premier League history.

However, things have not worked out for the forward since leaving England.

Reports claim he is seeking a transfer to Europe or Brazil after just half a season in Saudi Arabia.

The former Hoffenheim star has not scored for Al Ahli since August and has lost his starting place as he has struggled to settle in his new surroundings.

Roberto Firmino - Pro Shots.

Roberto Firmino - Pro Shots.

The likes of Sheffield United and Fulham have previously been named as possible destinations for Firmino, should he move clubs.

While it would be strange for Liverpool fans to see Firmino play for any English club besides Liverpool, a report from the Telegraph has thrown up an even more improbable option: Chelsea.

Mauricio Pochettino's side face issues in attack, with summer signing Christopher Nkunku still injured and Nicolas Jackson on international duty with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Matt Law writes: "There is not an obvious solution to Chelsea’s need for a goalscorer in the January transfer window. There is no appetite, perhaps with profit and sustainability rules in mind, to spend £120 million to sign Victor Osimhen from Napoli this month and the growing belief is that Ivan Toney will see the season out at Brentford.

"Taking a risk on a striker who has been prolific in Portugal or Holland is unlikely to yield instant results, which perhaps leaves Chelsea having to consider the possibility of trying to find a short-term loan option from Saudi Arabia in the form of Roberto Firmino or even Karim Benzema."

Unlikely to happen

While Chelsea's need for a quick-fix striker may be real, the likelihood of their next signing being Firmino seems slim.

The former Reds No. 9 was beloved on Merseyside for his skilfulness and selfless attacking link-up play, while he remains deeply connected to Liverpool – and only recently made an appearance at Anfield for the 4-2 win over Newcastle on New Year's Day.

Speaking upon his return, Firmino told "I'm very happy to be back here at home, at Liverpool and the stadium as well, Anfield," Firmino told "I'm very grateful to God for bringing me these moments again, to watch the game. Of course I'm not playing but I watch the game and see the boys.

"It's always emotional [to be here], you cannot forget you were here. We had a very good history here at the club that we achieved together and nobody can claim this history, it's already in the history [books]. We are here to support."

The striker, who scored the winner in the Reds' Club World Cup final win over Flamengo in 2019, has also only recently published a book, Si Señor: My Liverpool Years, detailing his time at the club.

It seems beyond unlikely that such a Liverpool legend with a genuine and on-going affection for the club and connection to its fans would consider jeopardising that with a short-term move to a rival like Chelsea.

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