Takumi Minamino may leave Liverpool for good this summer – but it may not be to Southampton.
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. Jurgen Klopp insisted at the time of his departure that Minamino still has a future with his parent club, but he may not be able to promise him similar opportunities to what he could get elsewhere.
Therefore, there will be a range of suitors for Minamino’s permanent signature in the summer.
According to Fichajes, one of the teams interested in Minamino would be Sevilla, who are long-term admirers of the 26-year-old.
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.
Sevilla admire Minamino for his Champions League experience and his creativity. They believe he would be a seamless fit for Julen Lopetegui’s formation.
Therefore, they could test Liverpool’s desire to keep the player for the long-term by making a bid at the end of the season.
Klopp explains limited Minamino chances
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.”