Red Bull’s sporting director Ralph Rangnick believes that Liverpool target Takumi Minamino is a player already in Jurgen Klopp’s mould as the European champions close in on a move for the attacking midfielder.
According to reports from the Times, Liverpool have accelerated their approach for the 24-year-old who could depart RB Salzburg in January. Minamino has a release clause in his current contract of just £7.2 million.
Liverpool recently secured their passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League, at the expense of Salzburg. Goals from Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah meant the Reds are still on course for a third consecutive Champions League final in May.
Speaking to Sky Sports in Salzburg after the defeat Rangnick said: “He [Klopp] doesn’t have to thank me”.
Rangnick has already worked with a number of Liverpool’s Champions League-winning players. Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip, Sadio Mane and Keita were all once under the guidance of the Red Bull sporting director so it is no surprise that Klopp trusts Ragnick’s judgement of a player.
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“You could see he was good on the ball, very technical, good mentality. He is also like many Japanese players, willing to invest in the team’s efforts to win the ball back.
“Of course he had to learn those things tactically, but his willingness and his mentality was already there. He’s not the kind of player to say, OK the other team has got the ball so, please let me know once we have the ball so I then can take part in the game again. Even at the age of 19, you could see he was a good boy.”