Premier League leaders Liverpool have confirmed they have reached an agreement with RB Salzburg to sign Takumi Minamino.
The Japan international will officially become a Reds player on January 1, having passed a medical on Merseyside on Wednesday.
Minamino has been in fine form for the Austrian side this season, notching two goals and three assists in the Champions League – including scoring and providing a goal during Salzburg’s 4-3 defeat at Anfield in October.
Minamino joins Liverpool: Five things to know…
- Minamino scored and assisted against Liverpool at Anfield in October.
- Since then, the midfielder was heavily linked with a January move to the Reds.
- The Japan international’s release was reportedly just £7.25m and Liverpool have moved fast to secure his signature.
- Jurgen Klopp has hailed Minamino as a “proper team player”.
- The 24-year-old says the opportunity to play for Liverpool is a “dream”.
As such, his form – which has also seen him net five Austrian Bundesliga goals – has caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp.
Able to operate anywhere across the front line or as an attacking midfielder, Minamino will offer Klopp a much-needed boost to his numbers after an incredibly busy December and could comfortably stand in for any of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Liverpool’s midfield.
Minamino told Liverpool’s official website: “I was thinking if my career as a footballer progressed smoothly, someday I would be able to play in the Premier League.
“But I never thought I would be able to play in this team and I’m really happy about it.”
Klopp is delighted to have secured the versatile forward’s signature and believes his qualities will bolster Liverpool’s attacking options.
He said: “Takumi is a very quick, very clever player, he finds space between the lines. He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball – a proper team player. He makes the best of himself for the benefit of others.
“His Champions League experience is a big bonus and coming from the club and organisation he does, we know he’ll be well coached, used to an elite environment and had all the right experiences.”
Meanwhile, an added bonus for the Reds is that thanks to Uefa abolishing their “cup-tied” rule, Minamino will be available to feature in the Champions League knockout rounds for Klopp – their European campaign resumes in February when they take on Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the last-16.
Liverpool’s first game after Minamino officially joins up with his new club is at home to Sheffield United on January 2nd.