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Christoph Freund considers the Reds’ interest in one of his club’s top performers to be an “honour”, with a final deal now in the works
Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund has confirmed that the club are in talks with Liverpool over the sale of Takumi Minamino.
As reported by Goal, the Reds are set to sign the Japan international in January, with the club having discovered that his release clause is just £7.25 million ($9.6m).
The 24-year-old has scored nine goals in 22 appearances for Salzburg across all competitions this season while also providing 11 assists.
Liverpool have emerged as the frontrunners in the race to sign Minamino, with it now possible that a final agreement could be put in place by the time the winter transfer window opens on January 1.
Salzburg chief Freund has now confirmed that discussions with the Reds are ongoing at a press conference on Thursday, stating: “I can confirm that there are currently discussions with Liverpool.
“It is an honour when these clubs are interested in our players.”
Minamino was a constant threat in the first half of Salzburg’s 2-0 defeat at home to Liverpool on Tuesday, which saw them crash out of the competition.
The Japanese ace found the net in the reverse fixture at Anfield back in October, as the Austrian outfit were beaten 4-3, forming one-third of a fearsome attacking trio alongside Erling Braut Haaland and Hwang Hee-chan.
Liverpool have been so impressed by Minamino that they now believe he is worth more than triple his buy-out clause, with Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus also understood to be interested in his services.
The Salzburg ace would be a valuable addition to Jurgen Klopp’s ranks should he indeed end up moving to Merseyside, given his ability to play anywhere across the front three.
Minamino’s arrival would also clear the way for Liverpool to send Rhian Brewster and Curtis Jones out on loan, with the club eager for the teenage duo to pick up regular first-team experience elsewhere.
The Reds finished top of Group E ahead of Napoli after beating Salzburg, and will be eagerly anticipating a potential heavyweight last 16 tie when the draw takes place on Monday.
They will now turn their attention to domestic matters on the pitch between now and February, with Watford set to arrive at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
Klopp will then send out a youthful squad to face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on December 17, 24 hours before his side opens their FIFA Club World Cup campaign in Qatar.