By Noel Whelan

4th Nov, 2022 | 2:00pm

Kevin De Bruyne cited as Liverpool source reveals offer on the way - 'Klopp loves him', says pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed it is no “surprise” to hear Liverpool are planning to hand Roberto Firmino a new contract.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, backed the 31-year-old to remain at Anfield “if the terms are right” even if his starting berth is under threat from Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz.

Football Insider revealed on Thursday (3 November) that Liverpool have agreed to offer an extension to Firmino and hope to begin talks during the upcoming mid-season break.

The Brazil international’s current deal is set to expire at the end of this season, although he may need to take a pay cut on his current agreeement in order to renew.

Firmino has played 18 matches in all competitions this term amid a backdrop of injuries and suspensions at Anfield – notching eight goals and four assists.

That is a sharp increase in involvement from last term – which saw him start just 10 times in the Premier League.

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Whelan compared the forward to Man City star Kevin de Bruyne because of his “intelligence” on and off the ball.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Whether he’s going to be first choice or not, you’ve just got to look at the impact he’s still having at Liverpool.

“He’s still one of the most intelligent players they have. He’s almost in that De Bruyne mould because he’s someone who makes the right decisions on and off the ball.

“It doesn’t surprise me to see him offered a new deal. Whether Jota and Diaz come back in ahead of him or not, he’s been one of the standouts this season.

“I’m sure he’d love to stay at Liverpool if the terms are right, and I’m sure Klopp would love to keep him.”

In other news, pundit claims youngster could be set for full Liverpool debut after development.