Red Bull Salzburg’s Japanese international Takumi Minamino will undergo his Liverpool medical today ahead of his £7.25 million January move.
The 24-year-old is hoping to complete the formalities over the next 24 hours before joining Jurgen Klopp’s squad at the start of next month. The plan is for Minamino to have the necessary assessments on Merseyside, while the senior team remain in Qatar for the FIFA World Club championships.
Liverpool are taking advantage of an attractive clause in Minamino’s contract to pursue a bargain deal for the highly-rated attacking midfielder. Salzburg’s development policy includes such clauses to facilitate the sale of their most promising players to elite clubs, despite the eye-catchingly low fee, although not all their starlets have such deals.
The transfer will follow six years of scouting of the player, with Liverpool’s interest intensifying over the last 12 months, especially after Minamino’s impressive Champions League performances.
He has developed rapidly to make the step up to the highest level.
Liverpool will also be pleased to have reinforcement in the second half of the season as the club competes at home and in Europe. He will not be cup-tied in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Despite criticism for the young team which was heavily beaten in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night, Klopp’s squad has been stretched recently. Those who might have played at Villa Park such as Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita are needed in Qatar and are expected to feature in the semi-final on Wednesday night.
Liverpool face Monterrey of Mexico, the winners will be playing Flamengo at the final on Saturday for the FIFA World Club Cup trophy.