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Salzburg confirm Liverpool talks for Minamino

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Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund has confirmed Liverpool are in talks to sign midfielder Takumi Minamino.

It was reported on Monday that Jurgen Klopp’s side are keen to bring the 24-year-old to Anfield in January after being impressed by his performances in this season’s Champions League.

Minamino is said to have a release clause of just £7.25million and apparent interest from rival clubs is said to have pushed Liverpool into making a move.

Speaking on Thursday about the rumours, Freund said: “I can confirm there are currently discussions with Liverpool. It is an honour to have such clubs interested in our players.”

Japan international Minamino has scored nine goals and provided 11 assists in 22 appearances in all competitions this season.

He scored in the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in October and posed a threat in the first half of the meeting in Austria this week, which the Reds won 2-0 to confirm their place in the last 16.

Minamino would be eligible to play for the holders in the knockout phase after UEFA scrapped a rule saying no player can appear for two different teams in the competition in the same season.

Manchester United were also linked with the winger, along with Serie A giants Juventus and Roma and Bundesliga sides Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, Salzburg’s affiliate club.