Red Bull Salzburg have confirmed that they are in talks with Liverpool over the transfer of Japanese forward Takumi Minamino.
The Reds have been described as 'highly likely' to strike a deal for Minamino, who is understood to have a release clause of just £7.25m in his contract.
Talk of a potential move to Anfield for Minamino has accelerated drastically following the conclusion of Liverpool's 2-0 win over Salzburg on Tuesday, and now sporting director Christoph Freund has now confirmed that negotiations are underway.
"I won’t comment on contract details. But it’s true there are talks with Liverpool," he said.
"It’s an honour for our club that the current Champions League winners and other big clubs are looking at our players. [A January transfer] could be possible."
The 24-year-old has racked up nine goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season. He impressed in his side's two meetings with Liverpool this season - particularly in the first game, in which Minamino bagged one goal and one assist.
Jürgen Klopp's side are said to value Minamino at more than £20m, so bringing him in for £7.25m certainly seems like a no-brainer for the Reds.
Manchester United are also understood to be keen, while sides from both the Bundesliga and Serie A are monitoring the versatile forward, so Liverpool have acted quickly to try and ensure they win the race for his signature.
Primarily a right winger, Minamino is equally comfortable on the left and he has even operated as a central striker for Salzburg since joining the club for just £720,000 back in 2015.
That versatility has likely endeared the Japan international to Klopp, who likes his forwards to be comfortable all over the pitch, while his undying work rate will also have worked in his favour.
A January move would make sense for Liverpool, who are looking for some more depth in attack to be able to compete for silverware in every possible competition, and the £7.25m price tag makes this hard to turn down.
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