Divock Origi strikes AC Milan agreement, as Jurgen Klopp hints at Liverpool replacement

Liverpool striker Divock Origi holding the FA Cup trophy

Divock Origi has agreed personal terms with AC Milan as his Liverpool exit nears, and recent comments from Jurgen Klopp point to who might fill the void.

The Belgian forward, 27, has already written his name into Liverpool folklore. Origi has cultivated a reputation for coming good on the big stage with important goals in the Champions League and multiple Merseyside derbies in his highlight reel.

However, Origi has never truly established himself under Jurgen Klopp given the sheer weight of competition up front.

And with Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz both hitting the ground running following their respective arrivals, Origi’s time at Anfield always looked on borrowed time.

His current contract is due to expire this summer and a clause that would’ve triggered an extra 12 months hasn’t been activated.

Prior reporting suggested the clause pertained to making 10 league starts. Origi has not started a league game in red this season.

Talk of a move to AC Milan has swelled in recent months, and per the Athletic, one obstacle has now been cleared.

The outlet reported ‘Divock Origi has agreed personal terms with AC Milan.’

A contract has not yet been signed and a medical must still be undertaken. However, it’s now looking ‘increasingly certain’ he’ll be gracing the San Siro next season.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano added his take to the story, tweeting Origi has ‘no doubts’ he’ll be joining Milan.

Romano echoed the Athletic’s reporting regarding the contract and medical. He also concluded Liverpool have ‘accepted’ Origi’s decision to depart.

Who will replace Origi?

While Origi has never been a regular starter, he has always contributed when called upon in the cups or off the bench.

The Daily Express recently claimed Liverpool may settle for just one major acquisition this summer. Luis Diaz’s January arrival was brought forward six months following late Tottenham interest. As such, their summer spending may be curtailed and a midfielder appears their top priority.

Signing a direct replacement for Origi may not be on new Reds transfer chief Julian Ward’s mind. Instead, Jurgen Klopp’s recent comments could point to Origi’s minutes being added to Takumi Minamino’s.

The Japanese forward has bagged 10 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions this season. What makes that stat remarkable is the fact he has been afforded just nine starts.

After his latest vital goal against Southampton kept their quadruple hopes alive, Klopp admitted it’s a “crime” Minamino doesn’t get more minutes.

Klopp lauds Minamino, squad players

“It’s a crime! I apologise! Crazy! People ask me if it’s hard to pick a line-up,” said Klopp.

“The football we could play was really good. It’s hard [to leave people out]. I expect them to react like they do, but it’s not normal. It’s special. Whatever happens, happens because the group is pretty, pretty special.

“Actually, I’m so happy about the performance, it was a bit touching to be honest.

“It was like ‘Wow, these boys!’ It’s like having Ferraris in the garage and then you let them out and they play like this.

“Harvey [Elliott], not sure when he last played. Curtis [Jones], no rhythm. Takumi Minamino, it’s a crime he’s not playing more often. Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t even play and he’s in outstanding shape.”

With Origi heading to Italy, Minamino may find greater responsibility placed on his shoulders next season. And given Liverpool will hope to challenge on at least four fronts again, he won’t be short of opportunities.