With Alberto Moreno departing Anfield this summer, the Reds are keen to replace him as Andy Robertson’s back-up at left-back and one name that has been continually linked is Junior Firpo.
The Real Betis left-back has had his name mentioned in the same breath as the Reds for a few weeks now; ESPN picked up the links back in June, reporting that Firpo had a presumed release clause of £45 million.
Spanish media have been quick to jump on the links, but Sevilla-based outlet, Mucho Deporte, have entertained a peculiar idea that involves cult icon Divock Origi.
Divock Origi has a contract offer on the table and under no circumstances will he be allowed to leave this summer. If he doesn’t renew, the club will be more than happy to keep him around for a year and lose him for free, if we want Firpo we’re gonna have to pay up.
— RF9 🇧🇷 (@SambaRole) July 8, 2019
After translation, they seem to suggest that, “to achieve the transfer of Junior they [Liverpool] need to put at least €30 million on the table to convince Betis, but they could also play the trick of offering Belgian striker Divock Origi, who only has a year left on his contract.”
The €30m figure given by Mucho Deporte runs counter to the £45 million release clause that Paul Wilson spoke about in The Guardian and somehow his word carries a little bit more weight.
Although we can’t be exactly certain, it seems that this report or others like it (such as El Desmarque) are the reason that some Real Betis Twitter fan accounts have started to suggest that a deal could emerge for Firpo that involves either: €30 million plus Origi, or just a €40 million fee straight-up.
That, and the fact The Metro previously reported in June that Betis were after Origi, (although it’s not necessarily the most accurate of sources).
🚨 IMPORTANTE 🚨
El Real Betis y el Liverpool se han reunido para cerrar el fichaje de Junior Firpo. Se negocia cerrar el traspaso por 30M + Origi, o 40M,💶 opción que prefiere el Betis. Su salida podria producirse proximamente. 🛫 pic.twitter.com/KJA1ETNx23
— Real Betis Balompié (@RBetis_GO) July 8, 2019
While another suggests it could be a cash-plus-player deal closer to €35 million, or €40-45 million without Origi being involved.
The only reason we can think they’re valuing Origi at €10-15 million is that he only has a year left on his current contract, but he has a deal on the table at Anfield that he’s expected to sign.
Reunión del #betis con emisarios del Livelpool por Junior Firpo, de realizarse el traspaso se ha acordado que seria sobre 30-35 millones + Origi, si Origi no entrara finalmente en la operación se pagarían entre 5 y 10 kilos mas #betis. 👀 pic.twitter.com/wG64FcQ1ev
— BetisConfidencial (@BetisConfi) July 8, 2019
You’re welcome to make up your own mind on how ludicrous or credible these theories are, but this whole thing seems very strange and we’re not really sure we believe it to be honest. Especially given Origi’s recent, pre-season comments that indicate he’s well-up for the 2019/20 season with the Reds.
Despite the notion that the Reds could in fact be keen to add Firpo to their ranks, he would represent quite a significant outlay for a Robertson deputy.
That said, his versatility and ability to play wide on the left in a more attacking sense could make him a worthwhile buy if Klopp wants multipurpose options on the bench.
This one could rumble on for a while longer but one thing is for certain: Villareal-bound Moreno will need to be replaced somehow.