Red Bull Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino will become a ?Liverpool player on 1 January pending only a medical. The Reds faced competition from Manchester United but won the battle for the midfielder in part due to their rivals being apparently unaware of the 24-year-old’s £7.25m release clause.
Subject to passing his medical, Minamino will join Liverpool at the start of next month, bolstering Jurgen Klopp’s ranks as they look to secure their first-ever Premier League title.
The Japan international has scored nine goals and registered 11 assists for Salzburg this season, with his impressive form attracting interest from a host of clubs.
Bundesliga leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach, Serie A side ?Milan, as well as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ?United had all been tracking the player.
However, the ?Mirror report that the reason that Liverpool have managed to beat their rivals to Minamino’s signature is that they were the only club aware of his low release clause.
Knowledge of the clause convinced the Reds to move quickly, before their opponents could swoop in with a deal of their own.
The Reds have reportedly been tracking the player for an extended period of time, with the ?Liverpool Echo claiming that negotiations have been underway between the two clubs since November.
The same report also alleges that a number of senior figures in the Anfield dressing room actually pleaded with the Liverpool recruitment team to sign the star – after he had terrorised them in a ?Champions League tie.
Little did the players know that negotiations were well underway to sign a player that Klopp has expressed admiration for in the past.
Minamino has played a number of positions for RB Salzburg, operating on the left, right of midfielder, in a deeper central role and even as and as an auxiliary striker, making him able to fill in for anywhere across the Reds’ forward line.
His high work-rate and determination has also endeared him to Klopp, who famously favours an intense playing style.
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