Leeds United are considering a late move for Takumi Minamino…
That’s according to Independent journalist Carl Markham, who claimed the Yorkshire outfit were interested in signing the Liverpool outcast before the January transfer window deadline on Monday evening.
“Takumi Minamino attracting interest from Leeds and Monaco but @LFC have rebuffed early approaches as they have no inclination to sell. Would take seriously really good offer to change their minds,” he tweeted.
The 36-cap Japan international is well behind the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in the pecking order at Anfield, and could yet drop even further amid reported interest in FC Porto star Luis Diaz.
It remains to be seen exactly what a ‘really good offer’ is, with the 27-year-old currently valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt.
Primarily a left-winger by trade, Minamino is capable of operating on both flanks and through the middle, where he can thrive the best when operating as a ‘half-winger’.
Just like fellow Whites target Brenden Aaronson, who doesn’t appear likely to be coming to Elland Road any time soon, at least in this current window.
Leeds’ two bids of £15m and £20m have been rejected but there is hope that a deal can be struck for the summer instead as RB Salzburg do not want to offload him before a crucial Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
Instead, it appears as if Victor Orta and co are lining up a last-minute alternative in a player that also once played for the Austria champions.
Minamino’s growth has always been stunted in Merseyside due to the sheer volume of quality starting ahead of him but he’s still proven his worth in abundance whenever given the opportunity.
For instance, this season he has provided six goals and one assist across 18 appearances, with those primarily coming in cup competitions as he’s yet to register a start in the Premier League, even despite Salah and Mane being at AFCON.
The Japanese attacker also impressed during a loan spell at Southampton last season.
“He’s a very special player for me – not because of his physical strength but more of his way of playing football,” claimed manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
“He is very quick in his mind, has good decision-making, knows about our pressing style and hopefully a lot of running. He knows when you come to me you have to run a lot, but that’s not a problem for him”
Right there is why he’s an absolute dream for Marcelo Bielsa. There isn’t a side that presses the opposition as intensely as Leeds, so his presence to do that from the front would be hugely beneficial to the Argentine, who must be desperate for additions.
Also dubbed a “machine” by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, Minamino could be an ideal alternative to Aaronson as we head into the final few days of the window.
Bielsa badly needs an option in the role and the Liverpool ace could well provide him with exactly what he needs for the remainder of the current campaign.
AND in other news, Leeds United eyeing late January bargain in £10m “phenomenon”…