Liverpool are confident that they will complete the signing of Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg, with any negotiations over triggering his £7.25M release clause expected to go smoothly given their good relationship and a five-year deal in the works.
That’s the word on multiple fronts today as news of interest from reliable, club-connected journalists has escalated to an all but done deal in a matter of hours and with the likes of The Independent’s Melissa Reddy now reporting everything has been agreed.
In amongst the chatter as the deal rocketed from possible to likely to agreed has been a slow drip of the competition Liverpool saw off to sign Minamino, who yesterday fans didn’t know was a target but who the club will have been working to sign for some time.
Domestically, Manchester United are widely reported to have made a push to sign the 24-year-old, offering him a clearer path to a starting role but unable to match the prestige of the defending European champions and current Premier League frontrunners.
Meanwhile, reports from outlets including The Guardian have suggested that as recently as the summer, Minamino believed his future lay in Germany, with not just Red Bull Leipzig a potential destination but also Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich tracking him.
In France, Marseille were also said to be interested, as were Serie A upstarts Atalanta—like United, options for the player that would have offered the player easier minutes—while at his current club, there appears to be an acceptance that he will soon depart.
“The big clubs have been watching him and if I was them, I’d have no hesitation to sign him,” Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund told Reddy in The Independent of the club’s attacking fulcrum. “Takumi is ready to make the next step in January.”