Roberto Firmino and Ben Woodburn Reportedly Set for New Liverpool Contracts

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates his goal against Sydney FC during their end-of-season friendly football match at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on May 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SAEED KHAN/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly set to offer Roberto Firmino and Ben Woodburn new contracts at the club, though no progress has been made on an extension for Emre Can. 

According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, the Reds want to get their current and future stars tied down for the long term.

Firmino has a deal until 2020, though he's become a crucial part of manager Jurgen Klopp's setup. The Brazilian is tasked with leading the line for the Reds and is a perfect foil for the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

"Klopp views Firmino, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, as key to his plans going forward, and the Reds hierarchy intend to recognise his progress over the past two years and fend off interest from elsewhere," Pearce added.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool embraces Roberto Firmino of Liverpool at full time after the Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at Bet365 Stadium on April 8, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, Eng
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Since joining from Hoffenheim in 2015, Firmino has been able to adapt his game. His work rate is exceptional and perfect for a team like Liverpool that seeks to press high up the pitch. Additionally, the Brazil international is technically outstanding and knits play together well.

As noted by Squawka Football earlier in the season, Firmino has been productive since arriving at the club:

Woodburn is set to sign a new deal when he turns 18 on October 15, according to the report, having made encouraging progress at the start of the 2017-18 campaign. He's on the fringes of the Reds first team and has impressed when on international duty with Wales.

While he's only played for the Liverpool first team on 10 occasions, there's a sense of excitement about what Woodburn may be able to bring to the side in years to come. Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe suggested recently that the teenager is ready to make the step up already:

There's little to suggest Woodburn or Firmino will not extend their deals with Liverpool as things stand. But the case of Can is one that'll be of significant concern to supporters. 

"Negotiations over an extension started in the summer of 2016, but reaching an agreement has proved problematic," Pearce said. "Can's representatives want him to become one of the club's highest wage earners, and they want to have a release clause written into his contract."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Emre Can of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The 23-year-old has less than a year left to run on his contract at Anfield, meaning he can hold talks with other clubs from January with a view to a free summer transfer. Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta has already confirmed to Premium Sport (h/t Joe Rimmer of the Liverpool Echo) they are interested in signing the Germany international.

While there's no denying the talent he possesses, Can's form has dipped a little as of late. The Anfield Wrap's Philip Blundell thinks the midfielder has cost his team with some lapses:

Even so, there are numerous attributes to tap into when it comes to the Liverpool No. 23. With the right type of development, he could become a major force for his team.

As things stand, there are major doubts as to whether that team will be Liverpool for much longer. At this stage, with January looming and contract talks at an impasse, the chances of Can staying beyond the current season seem slim.