Liverpool are placed to step up their interest in Red Bull Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino and could trigger his £7.25 million release clause in the winter.
The Premier League leaders think the Japan international forward’s accurate valuation is closer to £20m and feel they would be landing a bargain, capable of making a near-immediate impact at first-team level.
24-year-old has impressed in the Champions League versus Liverpool this campaign, scoring in the 4-3 defeat at Anfield and provided a constant threat during Tuesday’s reverse fixture which the holders finally won 2-0 to seal their position in the knockout step of the competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s side has swept all before them on the domestic front this campaign, dropping just two points from their opening 16 Premier League fixtures and reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Fixtures, though, are beginning to pile up with Liverpool also involved in next week’s Club World Cup in Qatar, pushing them to play a team of youngsters against Aston Villa in the League Cup on Tuesday.
Notwithstanding their all-conquering form, the Merseyside Reds have become reliant on their formidable front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Divock Origi has chipped in with important goals, but Xherdan Shaqiri has made only two matches since September and highly-rated youngster Rhian Brewster is yet to feature in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp, therefore, is keen to add more depth to his line-up, particularly in attacking positions, with the Reds still in contention for five trophies.