Football

Liverpool in talks to sign RB Salzburg's Takumi Minamino

Red Bull Salzburg attacker Takumi Minamino could soon become the first Japanese player to sign for Liverpool.

Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund said yesterday his club are in talks with the Reds over the transfer of the 24-year-old Japanese, who impressed in both games between the teams in the Champions League group stage.

"We're honoured by the kind of clubs who are interested in our players," Freund said on Salzburg's Twitter page.

Minamino, an attacking midfielder who can also play as a forward, joined Salzburg from Japanese club Cerezo Osaka in 2015.

He reportedly has a release clause of only £7.25 million (S$12.9m).

Klopp was very complimentary about the way Salzburg attacked Liverpool in his team's 2-0 win on Tuesday, which sealed the defending champions' spot in the last 16 and dropped Salzburg into the Europa League.

The other two Salzburg attackers, Norway's Erling Haaland and South Korea's Hwang Hee Chan, have also been linked with moves away from the club. The German media reported that Haaland is in talks with Borussia Dortmund.

Shinji Okazaki won the English Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016, while Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hidetoshi Nakata (Bolton) and Junichi Inamoto (Arsenal and Fulham) are among other Japanese players to have played in the EPL. - AP

Football