Liverpool given massive Minamino boost after CL rule change

Date published: Monday 16th December 2019 4:14 - Rob McCarthy

Liverpool will be able to play Takumi Minamino in the Champions League knockout stages should they sign the Japanese star.

The Japan international has been one of the standout performers for Red Bull Salzburg in the competition this season, but Uefa has changed the rulings to allow signings in the January transfer window to play for their new side in the knockout stages.

Previously, only three new eligible players could be added to the squad between the groups and last 16 – as long as they had not played in the competition for another club.

The likes of Real Madrid’s Klass-Jan Huntelaar and more recently Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona were forced to sit out of the Champions League matches due to being cup-tied.

Now, though, whoever transferred players represented before their winter move is irrelevant.

Clubs must still stick to the 25-man limit on ‘List A’ – players born before January 1 1998 – and meet the quota of eight “locally-trained players”.

And all that looks like it will mean good news for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

Despite reported late interest from Manchester United, Liverpool are expected to complete the £7.25million signing of Minamino when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

The 24-year-old forward has been in brilliant form for Salzburg this season, scoring nine goals and providing 11 assists including one of each at Anfield back in October.

He has also notched a further seven goals for Japan in 2019, making him the country’s top scorer this year.

Despite winning Group E, Liverpool face a tricky last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid, following the draw in Nyon on Monday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will let Adam Lallana leave the club on a free transfer when his contract at Anfield expires at the end of the season, according to a report.

Lallana joined the Reds from the well-trodden path from Southampton in 2014 and became a regular in the starting eleven in his first three seasons on Merseyside.

A host of different injuries, coupled with a loss of form have seen the ex-Saint slide down the pecking order in Liverpool’s midfield, and the imminent £7.25m arrival of Minamino appears to have spelled the end for Lallana.

Minamino operates in a similar role to Lallana and the Japan star is slotted to sign for the Reds on January 1, with this report suggest when his debut could fall for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And that will mean curtains for Lallana, according to The Athletic, with the player set to wave goodbye to Anfield at the end of the season. Read more… 



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