Manchester United’s move for Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino has developed quickly over the last week or so but the latest reports suggest it isn’t just Louis van Gaal who is interested in signing him.
On paper, United is by far and away the better destination for Firmino. He’d be playing Champions League football under a proven manager as part of a team which is going to be challenging for titles next season.
However, breaking it down into pure playing time, Liverpool look to be better poised to give him that.
Firmino could be a like-for-like replacement for the outbound Raheem Sterling, whereas at United he’d have to compete with a host of players simply to get into the starting XI.
Attacking midfield is a position where United are already spoilt for choice. Add Firmino into the mix and you’ve simply got too many players competing for the same spot which would make it almost impossible to keep them all happy.
United are in need of some top quality signings this year but having already signed Memphis Depay who is more than capable of playing across the front three positions, would it really be the worst thing in the world if Firmino moved elsewhere?
Van Gaal’s focus is on a defensive midfielder, not on another attacking midfielder, so it would seem wise to spend that money on a better suited player in a role United need to strengthen.
Of course, there could be something going on behind the scenes in terms of Van Gaal intending to sell some players to make space for Firmino but going on what is known, an attacking midfielder is effectively the last position which United need to strengthen.