Bild reported on Saturday that 12 clubs sent scouts to watch Hoffenheim lose 4-2 at home to Mainz in order to get a close up of Brazilian playmaker Roberto Firmino.
Both Chelsea and Liverpool were named are interested parties in the £12m attacking midfielder, while the Premier League clubs reportedly face stern opposition from other leading clubs around Europe as AC Milan, Inter Milan, Schalke and Wolfsburg were also said to have sent representatives to watch the Bundesliga clash.
22-year-old Firmino has garnered attention after scoring 13 goals and grabbing eight assist in 24 games in the German top flight this season. Firmino’s latest goal came in the match against Mainz; a right-footed half-volley into the near post.
Hoffenheim coach Markel Gisol has spoken about the interest in Firmino, and the manager has publicly announced the Village Team’s intention to hold onto the Brazilian. “Of course we know the mechanisms of the (transfer) market, but players who have proven themselves and fit well into our system, we want to keep here.”
Watch Roberto Firmino’s goal against Mainz below, together with video evidence of the Chelsea and Liverpool target.