Football: Takumi Minamino becomes 1st Japanese player to join Liverpool

Football: Takumi Minamino becomes 1st Japanese player to join Liverpool

Takumi Minamino
Takumi Minamino will become the first Japanese player to join Liverpool. (Photo: Twitter/LFC)

REUTERS: Liverpool have reached an agreement with Salzburg for the transfer of Japan playmaker Takumi Minamino, the Premier League club said on Thursday (Dec 19).

The 24-year-old forward - who impressed Liverpool in their two Champions League group matches this season with the Austrian side - is believed to have signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Liverpool did not disclose the fee but British media have reported that his release clause was £7.25 million and that Minamino would officially join from the Austrian club on Jan 1.

"It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"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; 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."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Minamino was a courageous player.

"He is very quick and a very brave player," said Klopp.

"He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball."

Liverpool - whose senior squad are preparing for Saturday's Club World Cup final in Qatar - activated Minamino's release clause last week.

He will be free to play for them from Jan 1 and could be involved in the FA Cup third round tie at home to city rivals Everton on Jan 5.

His move brings an end to his five-year spell with Salzburg, whom he joined from Cerezo Osaka in January 2015.

In total, Minamino made 199 appearances for Salzburg, scoring 64 goals, while he has earned 22 caps for Japan and scored 11 times since making his debut in October 2015.

Source: Agencies/nh

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