LIVERPOOL are set to seal their first signing of the January transfer window with a £7.25million move for Takumi Minamino.
The Japanese forward, who plays for RB Salzburg, is available well below his true value because of a release clause reportedly inserted in his contract.
And Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund told The Independent that he “is ready to make the next step in January”.
With the Austrian side utilising him across a number of positions in the frontline, there is a sense he will fit perfectly into Jurgen Klopp‘s system.
It is said the Reds boss is a big fan of Red Bull’s system of cultivating young players and turning them into megastars.
Sadio Mane developed well in two years at Salzburg, who Klopp praised for “educating great players” in midweek.
Liverpool barely touched the transfer market in the summer and appear to be cruising towards an historic Premier League title nevertheless.
Yet the temptation to push for Minamino in January is high given his tiny £7.25m release clause and the fact Champions League players are no longer cup-tied when swapping clubs in the winter.
In addition, the threat of rival bids cannot be discounted with The Athletic naming Manchester United as another interested club.
At 24, Minamino is enjoying far from his first good season since swapping Cerezo Osaka for the Austrian Bundesliga in 2014.
A tally of nine goals and 11 assists in all competitions has helped Salzburg become one of the most dangerous attacking sides in Europe – and is topped up with seven goals for Japan in the calendar year.