• Takumi Minamino has been a vital part of Salzburg
  • He scored at Anfield earlier this year
  • Man Utd were unaware of Minamino's release clause

Liverpool FC reportedly have beaten Premier League rivals Manchester United in the race to sign the promising forward from Redbull Salzburg, Takumi Minamino.

The Reds Tuesday defeated Salzburg 2-0 in the return leg fixture in the Champions League. Minamino was one of the scorers for Salzburg when they just lost the match 4-3 at Anfield earlier this year.

Even though Liverpool snatched a 2-0 win on Tuesday, Salzburg did everything possible to push the defending champions at the edge. The hosts were dominated the first half and Jurgen Klopp acknowledged their effort without any hesitation.

"I couldn't have more respect for what Salzburg is doing. I know how people see it - you think being the best team in Austria is 'OK'. Then you see how good they are, how good they were in the first game [the Reds won 4-3 at Anfield], how good they were against Napoli and Genk and then you could come here as the current Champions League winner and misunderstand that situation. And I love it, I really love it that my team is so smart that they listen and they put in a shift in like that. Salzburg was unbelievably strong, especially in the first half, but we as well were ready for that fight," Klopp said in a post-match interview in Austria.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has praised the team's mental strength
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has praised the team's mental strength AFP / STRINGER

Liverpool's long-established ties with the Austrian club has apparently helped the Premier League leaders to come close to signing the Japanese versatile forward. The current Champions League title holders have displayed some amazing business skills here and two people who must be applauded for this are Liverpool's sporting director and manager, Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp.

Ever since the German joined the club in 2015, Liverpool have made some fantastic decisions in the transfer windows and their run in the last couple of years have reflected on the same.

Moreover, Edwards has also struck up a close friendship with his Salzburg counterpart Christoph Freund, who earlier on Thursday confirmed Minamino’s likely departure.

If Minamino passed the medical test and accepted the personal terms, he is all set to join the Reds family. Liverpool are believed to have beaten the likes of Manchester United, Borussia Mönchengladbach and AC Milan in the race to sign the Salzburg forward. Man Utd, who were equally keen on signing the Minamino, were unaware of his release clause and that made Liverpool's job easy.

The best part of the deal is that Liverpool will be spending $9.75 million approximately - effectively the same amount they have banked for selling Ryan Kent to Rangers.

Although the transfer news has come out as a surprise to many, Klopp and co have been working over it for quite some time, having tracked the young froward since 2013.