ROBERTO Firmino has become the second most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history, after a £29million deal to sign him from Hoffenheim was completed overnight.
The Brazil international, 23, has agreed a five-year contract, worth more than a £100,000 per week.
He requires a work permit and will complete the formalities of a medical at Anfield once the Copa America is over.
Firmino, who had been linked with Manchester United, has been Liverpool’s top target for the summer window and completing the transfer is a statement of intent.
The Reds will pay £22m up front as part of the transfer.
Only Andy Carroll, at £35m in January 2011, has cost more than Firmino, who, with nine caps to his name, will join compatriots Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho at Anfield.
It is also a statement of support from manager Brendan Rodgers, who will start the season under scrutiny following the dismal end to the last campaign.
Liverpool had sent a delegation to the Copa America and Ian Ayre, the club’s chief executive, wrapped up the deal in Santiago – where Brazil are based ahead of their quarter-final with Paraguay on Saturday – during the early hours of Wenesday morning.
It has been a hectic start to the summer window for Liverpool, who have set the pace in terms of signings.
They have completed three Bosman moves for James Milner, Danny Ings and Adam Bogdan and also secured the £3.5million addition of Charlton youngster Joe Gomez.
Nathaniel Clyne, the Southampton right back, is also on course to move to Liverpool and a striker is a top priority, though they have not made any progress in terms of moving for Christian Benteke, with the Aston Villa striker having a £32.5million release clause.