Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Takumi Minamino from Red Bull Salzburg.
The Japanese forward will move to Anfield when the transfer window opens on January 1, having successfully completed a medical on Merseyside on Wednesday.
The Reds triggered a release clause which allowed Minamino to leave Salzburg for just £7.25 million, with the 24-year-old agreeing a four-and-a-half-year contract with the European Champions.
Goal revealed earlier this month that the Reds had stolen a march on a host of European rivals, including AC Milan, Manchester United and Borussia Monchengladbach, following the discovery of Minamino’s release clause.
Liverpool had tracked the player from his time at first club Cerezo Osaka, and were impressed by his performances in both games against the Reds in the Champions League group stage.
Indeed, sources have told Goal that a number of senior players had urged manager Jurgen Klopp to sign the versatile, hard-working star, little knowing that a deal to bring him to Anfield was already well advanced.
Klopp is delighted to have secured a quality addition to his squad as Liverpool seek glory at home and abroad in 2020. He believes Minamino will add plenty, and expects the Japan international to adapt quickly to the demands of the Premier League.
The German said of the Reds’ new No.18: “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.
“His Champions League experience is a big bonus and coming from the club and organisation he does, we know he’ll be well coached, used to an elite environment and had all the right experiences.
“It is fantastic work by our football operations team in how they’ve handled this transfer. Michael Edwards and the team deserve a lot of credit.
“It’s not hard to see why Salzburg is a favoured destination for players with real talent and hunger. From our experiences dealing with, and facing, Salzburg on and off the pitch in recent months, their reputation as a benchmark modern European club will only grow.
“I’m sure all the Liverpool supporters will go out of their way to make Takumi feel at home in our amazing city and club.
“I am also pretty sure as of now we have added to our numbers of the LFC family in Japan specifically. For those who follow us now because we have one of the country’s most exciting talents, I say welcome – it’s a special club to be part of.”
Minamino, meanwhile, couldn’t hide his excitement, stating: “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; 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.
“[Liverpool’s] football is of such a high level and I did feel that they were the champions of the Champions League. Feeling that, it makes me feel even happier that I can play in this team. I’m really happy to be part of that team.
“My target is to win the Premier League and the Champions League, and to make good contributions to the team.”