Southampton begin talks with Liverpool over bringing loan star Takumi Minamino back to St Mary’s this summer… despite Jurgen Klopp insisting his ‘time will come’ at Anfield
- Southampton are in talks to extend Takumi Minamino’s stay on the south coast
- Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl revealed the club is making efforts to sign him
- Minamino, 26, was sent to Southampton on loan from Liverpool in January
- Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has maintained the Japanese has a future at Anfield
Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that Southampton have held talks with Liverpool over keeping Takumi Minamino at the club next season, despite Jurgen Klopp claiming that the Japanese’s ‘time will come’ with the Reds.
The 26-year-old’s arrival in January 2020 – in a deal worth £7.25m from RB Salzburg – appeared an inspired piece of business, with the attacking midfielder impressing in the Champions League with the Austrians.
However, Minamino has struggled to make the desired impact at Anfield, scoring just four goals in 31 appearances for Klopp’s.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed Southampton are in talks to extend Takumi Minamino’s stay
The Japanese playmaker, 26, joined the Saints in January after limited game time at Liverpool
The Japanese’s confidence has taken a knock as a result, leading to the Reds loaning the 26-year-old to the Saints in January.
Hasenhuttl has afforded Minamino far more game time than he enjoyed in Merseyside and the playmaker has put in improved performances on the south coast, scoring two goals in ten games for the club.
And the Austrian coach has disclosed that the Saints are in talks with the former Premier League champions to extend Minamino’s stay at St Mary’s, although he gave no indication of whether the move would be permanent or temporary.
‘It is never nice for a player when you don’t end up getting the game time that you want to have, when you only train and are not see as part of the first 11,’ he told HampshireLive via The Mirror.
Minamino has put in improved performances on the south coast under coach Hasenhuttl
The Austrian says he has enjoyed having Minamino in his side and is looking to extend his stay
‘The most important thing for him is that he gets a chance to play. We have had talks with them and they are not so sure what will happen with him because Liverpool may make some things happen in the transfer market.
‘For him, it was important to play here. We gave him that chance to play and we have enjoyed having him here.’
Hasenhuttl’s comments appear to signal a change in mindset from Liverpool boss Klopp, who has long maintained that Minamino has a future with the Reds.
‘It’s hard to get in this team – that’s how it is,’ Klopp said of Minamino last November. ‘Taki is a sensational boy and a great player, so he will face that challenge. His time will come, no doubt.’
Jurgen Klopp has maintained that the Japanese international’s future remains at Anfield
However, Liverpool may need to sell fringe players to bolster their squad this summer window
Klopp doubled down on his stance in the latter half of the season after Minamino’s strong showings with Southampton.
‘He’s done really well [at Southampton] and this is no surprise,’ Klopp said. ‘When we allowed him to go in January, it was a tough call to make because he is an important player for us and will be again in the future, no doubt.’
Liverpool may have to be creative in the transfer market this summer if they are to close the gap on Manchester City, who ran away with the title this season.
Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are believed to be available for sale as the Reds’ transfer whiz Michael Edwards looks to raise funds to improve the squad for the 2021-22 campaign. After Hasenhuttl’s revelations, Minamino may be another player on the table.