Japanese star Takumi Minamino signs for Liverpool

LONDON (AFP) – Japanese international Takumi Minamino signed for Champions League holders Liverpool yesterday for a reported fee of GBP7.25 million from Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg, the Premier League leaders announced.

The 24-year-old forward – who impressed Liverpool in their two Champions League group matches this season with the Austrian side – is believed to have signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.

“Liverpool Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Red Bull Salzburg for the transfer of Takumi Minamino,” the club said in a statement on their website.

Minamino said it fulfilled a dream.

“It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player,” he told Liverpool.com.

“And I’m so excited that the moment has come true. To play in the Premier League was one of my targets. I think this is the top-class league in the world; I was thinking if my career as a footballer progressed smoothly, someday I would be able to play in the Premier League.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Minamino was a courageous player.

“He is very quick and a very brave player,” said Klopp. “He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball.”