Leeds United are reportedly making headway in their push to make a third new signing of the summer, with a £17m swoop for Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino seemingly progressing.
Jesse Marsch helped engineer a Leeds survival mission, with their safety guaranteed on a dramatic final day of the season. The Whites went into their match at Brentford in the bottom three but managed to overhaul Burnley, who suffered demotion instead.
The Whites suffered badly with injuries throughout the 2021/22 season, with legendary former boss Marcelo Bielsa preferring to operate with a smaller squad.
But that is a factor Marsch is keen to address and the Whites have got out the blocks quickly this summer. Indeed, they announced the signing of Brenden Aaronson in a £24m deal just days after survival was confirmed. And their second signing of the summer arrived on Wednesday with Rasmus Kristensen also signing from Red Bull Salzburg.
However, it seems Leeds will not have long to wait for signing No 3 to be announced if reports are to be believed. To that end, it was claimed on Wednesday that United are one of five clubs in the mix to sign Minamino.
The Japan star will leave Anfield this summer with a £17m fee on his head. And it emerged on Wednesday that his agent, Yusuke Akiyama, is meeting with his suitors to ascertain which deal would be best.
Pundit reveals Victor Orta plan
However, The Times fancies Leeds’ chances of getting the deal done. They claim Minamino will likely pick between Leeds and Saints, whom he enjoyed a previous spell on loan. However, it is Leeds who have the edge with Minamino having previously worked with Marsch at Salzburg.
Fabrizio Romano takes it a step further and has previously also suggested he expects the 27-year-old to move to Leeds.
Leeds director of football Victor Orta has wasted little time this summer on the transfer front. And the capture of a new attacking option was always part of his summer strategy.
While Minamino is not a centre forward as such, he is capable of playing there. As such, he would present Leeds with another option.
And with Patrick Bamford missing large periods of last season through injury, pundit Paul Robinson reckons it is exactly what Leeds need.
“Leeds have got to get some kind of striker who plays either wide or comes in as a number nine,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“They tried it with Rodrigo and it didn’t work.
“They played almost the whole season without Patrick Bamford. It was so glaringly obvious. They knew how long he was out for and didn’t go in the market then for whatever reason.
“Leeds can’t start next season without some cover in that position. They need somebody who can play in that position when Patrick doesn’t.
“It’s absolutely vital they get a striker.”
Takumi Minamino deal makes a lot of sense for Leeds
Now it seems Takumi Minamino will be that man – with the £17m fee well within Leeds United‘s reach.
The Japan forward enjoyed a highly-successful spell in Austria, with 107 goal involvements in 198 games for the club.
That earned him his move to Liverpool, where he has 14 goals in 55 appearances.
Leeds pushing to sign Minamino from Liverpool this summer
Leeds United are pushing to sign Minamino from Liverpool to replace out going Raphinha
Ten of those game in 24 appearances in 2021/22. And Minamino proved what he can do, given just nine of those appearances came from the start.
He looks a good fit for Marsch and Leeds. As such, this one looks a smart signing for the Whites if they can get it done.