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Liverpool Confirm Agreement to Sign Red Bull Salzburg's Takumi Minamino

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 10: Takumi Minamino of Salzburg looks on during the UEFA Champions League group E match between RB Salzburg and Liverpool FC at Red Bull Arena on December 10, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Red Bull Salzburg winger Takumi Minamino in January after the club confirmed a deal has been reached between the two clubs. 

BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera reported on Wednesday that Minamino underwent a medical, and the club said a deal had been reached on Thursday:

Liverpool FC @LFC

We can confirm an agreement has been reached with @redbullsalzburg for the transfer of Takumi Minamino 🙌 リヴァプールフットボールクラブは南野拓実選手の移籍についてレッドブル・ザルツブルクと合意に達したことを発表する https://t.co/2yH2N0v3Y1

Liverpool confirmed the 24-year-old will complete the transfer from Austrian champions Salzburg on January 1, 2020, having impressed in his two UEFA Champions League group appearances against the Reds this season.

It's understood Liverpool triggered the £7.25 million release clause in Minamino's contract, which looks like a bargain for a player who scored and assisted when Salzburg lost 4-3 at Anfield in October:

Manager Jurgen Klopp spoke to LiverpoolFC.com and hailed his imminent arrival as "a wonderful signing," suggesting the club's fans were already well aware of the talent soon to arrive on Merseyside:

"This is fabulous news—a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this.

"Our supporters have had the chance to see him close up recently so I don't need to sing too loudly about his qualities as they are already known.

"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."

Minamino has nine goals and 11 assists to his name from 22 appearances across all competitions this season. 

He'll become the third player with Salzburg affiliations to join Liverpool since Klopp arrived at the club, with Sadio Mane and Naby Keita each having represented the Austrian outfit earlier in their careers.

Minamino—who has scored 11 goals in 22 appearances for Japan—spoke of his desire to play in the Premier League and, more specifically, to represent the UEFA Champions League holders, per Goal's Neil Jones:

Neil Jones @neiljonesgoal

Minamino: “It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player. And I’m so excited that the moment has come true. To play in the Premier League was one of my targets. I think this is the top-class league in the world." #LFC

Neil Jones @neiljonesgoal

Minamino: "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. I’m looking forward to it.” #LFC

Liverpool's first-team squad are in Doha, Qatar, and will face Flamengo in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday having defeated Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday.

They'll meet Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last two fixtures of 2019, but Minamino will hope to be involved when the Reds host Sheffield United on January 2.