Takumi Minamino’s potential deal with Lazio could be hijacked at the final hour by a Premier League club, according to former England international Kevin Phillips.
The Lowdown: Minamino’s breakout season
The tricky Japanese forward has endured a tumultuous time at Liverpool since he signed in 2020, but has earned more cup responsibility this season.
In the two trophies Liverpool have already claimed, Minamino was the top scorer in both. He boasts eight goal contributions in nine cup games this season, and has been lauded for his role in both FA and League Cup successes.
However, with links circling about a potential move away from Anfield, it remains to be seen whether he will be content with a predominantly domestic cup role.
He could now follow Divock Origi out of Anfield this summer.
The Latest: Forward backed to make move
Speaking to Football Insider, pundit Kevin Phillips predicts there will be big interest if Liverpool are willing to let the £10.8m-rated ace go for a reasonable price.
“It will come down to finances for any Premier League side,” he said.
“If Liverpool let him go for a reasonable price, then I can definitely see there being interest.
“He’s a good player. He’s undoubtedly showed his talent this season, popping up with some crucial goals and being a really dependable option. English sides will be sniffing around, for sure.
“It’ll ultimately come down to his wages and the fee. I think any Premier League side could probably beat Lazio in terms of spending.”
The Verdict: Would improve many teams
Whilst the likes of Salah and Mane will win all the plaudits, truly great teams are built off fringe players who are content with their place within the squad, but are still quality operators.
This season has seen Minamino instrumental in two of what could’ve been four trophy wins for the Reds, and so it is only natural he draws interest from some of the lesser Premier League clubs.
Recently Klopp labelled him technically “incredible”, and with a reasonable return of 17 goal contributions in 55 games for Liverpool in all competitions, it would be a shame to lose such a dependable fringe player.
However, with the imminent arrival of Fulham’s Fabio Carvalho, Minamino falls further down the pecking order.
The £75k-per-week attacker would definitely approve a team like Leeds, who were reportedly interested in January, and with his play time to undoubtedly be further limited it would be unfair to keep a player brimming with talent sat on the bench.
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