Liverpool are reported to be exploring the possibility of offloading unwanted star Takumi Minamino to Sevilla as part of a deal to take one of the LaLiga side’s top forwards to Anfield.
Minamino is currently on loan at Southampton from the champions. He has failed to make an impact at Anfield since moving there from RB Salzburg in January 2020.
He only started two Premier League games in each of his two half-seasons at Liverpool. To put that in perspective, he has already started twice in the league for Southampton, despite only joining them last month.
The loan move was designed to help Minamino get regular gametime again, something he was starved of on Merseyside.
It seems to be working so far, with the Japan international scoring a well-taken goal on his debut for Saints.
If he continues to thrive at St Mary’s Stadium, Liverpool will have a decision to make about his future
Indeed, there looks to be no shortage of admirers for the Japan star. As such, reports this week linked Minamino with a €10m move to Sevilla.
The Andalusian club are expecting to sell some of their prize assets in the summer. That will allow them to reinvest in other targets.
Minamino would easily fit their budget, as the asking price is just €10m. Such a figure would still guarantee Liverpool a profit.
One of those prized assets tipped to depart is forward Lucas Ocampos, with La Razon reporting Liverpool are keen.
The Argentine joined Sevilla from Marseille for an undisclosed fee in summer 2019.
In his 18 months at the club, he has scored 22 goals in 70 appearances. The winger has a €65m exit clause in his deal, though could be sold off for less.
La Razon suggests Liverpool are exploring the possibility of signing the 26-year-old. Minamino would then be used as a makeweight in any deal.
Liverpool of course have Diogo Jota as cover and competition for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. However, the arrival of Ocampos makes some sense with Divock Origi tipped to be one of six departures this summer.
The summer coming will be a big one for Liverpool, with their current title ambitions in total disarray, the mobile sports wagering odds on them bouncing back to win a second title in three years will certainly be interested.
Klopp explains Minamino exit
Speaking shortly after Minamino’s temporary exit was confirmed, Klopp revealed why the attacking midfielder had struggled for gametime.
“Sometimes it was just a size thing because of our problems in defence and not being tall enough and could we get Takumi on the pitch. ‘How can we do that?’ Defending set pieces is very important. Not for the players or journalists but these things make a difference.
“There were not a lot of clubs where it makes sense to let Taki leave but Southampton it does. It helps Southampton and it helps us.
“Only thing he is lacking is a few games in a row. That was difficult here. I would have loved to have kept him. But Takumi is a long-term project here and always was. Makes sense he gets the chance to play games.”