Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer failure to work in their favour with Minamino exit first of five to take shape

Liverpool pair Takumi Minamino and Kostas Tsimikas

Liverpool’s disappointment at missing out on Aurelien Tchouameni could be alleviated after Monaco emerged as the primary contender to sign Takumi Minamino.

The Reds had identified Tchouameni as an ideal candidate to bolster their midfield. However, when push came to shove, it was Real Madrid who succeeded in signing the French destroyer.

Tchouameni netted Monaco £68m with the deal potentially rising to £85m. While Liverpool won’t be pleased to have missed out, the fact Tchouameni did move has left Monaco with an influx of cash.

According to the Times, the French outfit may put some of those funds to quick use by signing Takumi Minamino.

Liverpool won’t stand in the Japan forward’s way if a £17m offer arrives. Leeds Utd and Southampton were among those exploring a move. Football Insider recently claimed Wolves has surged into the lead with Bruno Lage’s side prepared to stump up the full asking price.

But per the Times’ Paul Joyce, it is Monaco who are now ‘leading the chase’.

Monaco can offer what Leeds, Saints, Wolves can’t

Aside from the fact they can now match Liverpool’s valuation with ease, Monaco have a distinct advantage over their English counterparts.

Monaco will have Champions League football on offer next season after finishing third in Ligue 1.

This is Anfield add to the Times’ report when claiming Liverpool won’t drag out Minamino’s future. That suggests that the first club to bid the £17m valuation will likely succeed in securing the 27-year-old’s services.

Minamino’s international duties with Japan conclude on Tuesday. The report claims a transfer away from Anfield could quickly accelerate from that point forward.

Minamino to help Liverpool generate £100m

The Reds have reportedly wrapped up an agreement with Benfica to sign Darwin Nunez. The total fee could reach as high as £85m and Paul Joyce and Fabrizio Romano differed on some of the details.

Regardless, Darwin is bound for Merseyside and is due to undergo a medical on Monday. To help balance the books, Liverpool are reportedly seeking a £100m windfall from five sales.

Minamino, Sadio Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defensive duo Nat Phillips and Neco Williams are being earmarked for exits.

Bayern are expected to bid a third time for Mane, while Oxlade-Chamberlain has been linked with Newcastle, West Ham and surprisingly, Man Utd.

Phillips and Williams could return to the clubs they helped win promotion to the Premier League with while on loan last season – Bournemouth and Fulham.

The Reds have become synonymous with expert navigation of the transfer window in recent times. Should they get their way with the quintet named, they’ll have paid off the final Darwin fee in full and still make a profit after the Fabio Carvalho and potential Calvin Ramsay deals.