Manchester United are on the verge of completing the transfer of Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim after agreeing personal terms with the Brazil playmaker.
Recent reports suggested Manchester United had a deal in place with Hoffenheim, with the fee being quoted at around €18 million (£13 million).
ESPN Brazil correspondent Jose Elias broke the news last week, and now according to the Daily Star, who quote a report from Tuttomercatoweb, personal terms have been agreed with the Liverpool target and a transfer will be completed once Firmino returns from the Copa America.
What is interesting is that there are also reports, around the UK, suggesting Liverpool are looking to hijack the deal for Firmino. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is desperate to add quality players to his squad after a disappointing season, and Firmino will certainly give his team more flair and a better attacking threat.
However, when it comes to Champions League clout, Manchester United win hands down, since Liverpool will only play in the Europa League next season, and they also have the better resources in place to offer Firmino a more lucrative contract.
Having already signed Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven, the potential arrival of Firmino will certainly add more pace and directness to the Manchester United attack, which was lacking at times last season.
With Firmino able to play across the forward line, he will be a versatile asset to have in the squad, and Manchester United will certainly look a more potent outfit with Depay and Firmino marauding from the two wings at pace.
While Manchester United still require a pure goalscorer, an attacking trident of Depay, Wayne Rooney and Firmino, behind the main central strike, will certainly have a lot of United fans purring in delight.
If the Brazilian – that is assuming there is some truth in the transfer rumours – can adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, though, remains to be seen, while it will not be entirely easy to usurp the likes of Juan Mata, who played from the right in the latter part of the season, and Angel Di Maria, no doubt looking to make a bigger impact in his second season at Old Trafford, and seal a place in the starting lineup.
The Manchester United squad will definitely look a lot stronger with Firmino, who has been tipped to step up in the absence of Neymar for the rest of Copa America, in it, however.