Liverpool could have used Minamino – Klopp suggests transfer is imminent

By Sports Desk December 18, 2019

Jurgen Klopp suggested the arrival of Takumi Minamino at Liverpool is imminent and admitted he would have liked him in the squad for the Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey.

Minamino was reportedly due to undergo a medical with the Reds on Wednesday ahead of a January move from Salzburg said to be worth £7.25million.

Klopp was forced to send Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on as the Premier League leaders searched for a winner against the CONCACAF Champions League holders, who were level at 1-1 in Doha heading into injury time. 

Firmino turned home a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 91st minute to seal a 2-1 victory and set up a meeting with Flamengo in the final, but the Liverpool boss conceded having Minamino on a bench that included two goalkeepers would have been a big boost.

However, the German was unwilling to say more with the transfer yet to be confirmed.

"I cannot speak about it, sorry. You are too early!" said Klopp.

He added with a smile: "If he would come – it would have been good if we could bring him on. But he's not yet our player so we have to wait for that, sorry."

Liverpool fielded a team of Under-23 players for their EFL Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa on Tuesday due to their Club World Cup commitments and lost 5-0.

Ahead of a congested festive period Klopp was delighted to have avoided an additional 30 minutes against Monterrey.

"I was actually afraid of the extra time to be honest, so I was more than happy when Bobby scored that goal," said Klopp, who deployed Jordan Henderson at centre-back with Virgil van Dijk absent due to illness.

"We had to do a few changes because we had no other options, but we wanted to do some other changes. It means we left Trent out, we left Bobby out and Sadio out, and that gives you then the opportunity when the game is not decided to make the decision.

"That Bobby scored the goal is just wonderful. He came on and was immediately in the game, a really good situation, pass from Mo, maybe not clear enough but he helped us a lot, Sadio with his power and stuff, Trent [supplied] immediate, dangerous crosses, so it helped.

"Staying on track is part of our game. You for sure cannot plan a goal like this, you only think it's not impossible. It was really a super, super goal."

On the chances of Van Dijk returning for the final, Klopp said: "He was yesterday or the day before on the pitch for a couple of minutes until the media left and then unfortunately he had to leave as well, not because of the media but because he didn't feel well.

"But this morning no training was possible and he couldn't play. It was difficult for Hendo to deal with but he did really good and we will see, I don't know how quick he can recover. We will see."

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