Fabinho, Firmino and Minamino — Liverpool are all set to become a commentator's delight, courtesy of their pursuit of RB Salzburg's Takumi Minamino. The Reds have grown into fond admirers of the Japan international. It's an admiration that was intensified after his energetic display against Liverpool in the Champions League earlier this week. With Liverpool's sporting director Michael Edwards on good terms with the Red Bull organisation (owing to the signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig), Liverpool are reportedly all set to finalise a deal for Takumi Minamino for a sum far below his current transfer value.
There have been reports that Liverpool players went up to Jurgen Klopp after the game against RB Salzburg in order to plant the suggestion that the club should take a closer at Takumi Minamino, the player who relentlessly pressed the Liverpool players in their Champions League encounter. Little did they know that Michael Edwards and his team were scouting the Japan international for over six years. Edwards spent a considerable amount of time working with RB Salzburg for the inspiration behind Liverpool’s new £50 million training complex. As such, Liverpool's sporting director was privy to one key piece of information that the likes of Manchester United were unaware of Takumi Minamino's paltry release clause.
Minamino's release clause is reportedly just £7.25m, £750,000 less than what they paid for Andrew Robertson. His attributes fit the Liverpool ethos like a glove. His aggression and pressing abilities are central to Liverpool's decision to activate his release clause. The signing of Takumi Minamino will also provide Jurgen Klopp with the perfect cover for Roberto Firmino, a player whose shoes are notoriously hard to fill. Interestingly, Minamino could become the first Japanese player to represent Liverpool, thus giving the club a much larger presence in the Far East market.
As long as he passes his medical, Takumi Minamino will become a #LFC on January 1. Borussia Mönchengladbach, AC Milan and Manchester United among those beaten to his signature.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) December 12, 2019
Fee of £7.25 million - effectively what Liverpool banked for selling Ryan Kent to Rangers.
With the signing of Minamino, Jurgen Klopp would also add considerable depth to Liverpool's attack. The RB Salzburg player is known for his versatility and can play anywhere across Liverpool's front three. At present, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had to fill in on the wing in place of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah. The former Gunners' man is arguably more suited as one of the three in Liverpool's midfield. With the signing of Minamino, Jurgen Klopp could play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his preferred midfield position on occasion while still having the likes of Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Takumi Minamino on the bench. The Japan international's signing would also be among the smartest pieces of business for the club. In the past couple of seasons, Liverpool have sold Christian Benteke, Jordan Ibe, Brad Smith, Dominic Solanke and Mamadou Sakho for a combined sum of £98 million. In comparison, Liverpool's current front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah cost them a combined £102 million. A sum of £7.25 million for Takumi Minamino pales in comparison to the £15 million they received from the Jordon Ibe sale.
Another point to note is that if Liverpool were to secure his signing as soon as the January transfer window opens, Takumi Minamino could make his Liverpool debut against Everton in the FA Cup at Anfield. The last player to have made his Liverpool debut against Everton at Anfield in the FA Cup was 2019 Ballon d'Or runner-up - Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch centre-back also scored on his debut for the club. Could the stars align for Takumi Minamino the same way they did for Virgil van Dijk? With Jurgen Klopp extending his deal through 2024, Liverpool will certainly hope so.