Leeds United are considering their next move amid claims Liverpool may be open to a lower than expected offer to take Takumi Minamino away from Anfield this month.
The Whites have struggled to get business done this month, in particular failing to land 21-year-old Brenden Aaronson from Red Bull Salzburg. Indeed, our exclusive reveals that Leeds are hopeful of getting the deal done – but not until the summer.
However, they may now finally be able to find success in the market thanks to one of their rivals.
Liverpool’s imminent acquisition of Porto winger Luis Diaz means they are open to trimming their squad.
One player who is subsequently up for sale is Minamino – a man who Leeds were previously knocked back for.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are understood to have asked Liverpool initially about a potential loan deal. However, the Reds are only interested in a straight sale, and to that end, have now named their price.
To that end, the Liverpool Echo claims they are seeking a fee of around £20m for Minamino. The Reds, though, could be open to negotiations on that price were Leeds to follow up their interest.
Liverpool, though, do not have to sell to push through the Diaz deal. However, any sort of sale of the 27-year-old is likely to see them make a substantial profit on their initial £7.25m investment two years ago.
Furthermore, Minamino appears to have slipped further down the pecking order at Anfield. Indeed, Jurgen Klopp chose to start 17-year-old Kaide Gordon ahead of Minamino for the 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final last week.
As such, an opening offer of around £15m could yet persuade them to sell – and still see them more than double their initial investment.
Erling Haaland could help Minamino decision
One issue Leeds could face, however, is in convincing Minamino to exit Anfield for Elland Road.
Indeed, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth suggest convincing the Japan star might be a problem without guaranteed first-team football.
Furthermore, he states Minamino might need explaining his clear role in the Leeds side under Bielsa. While Minamino has often been used as cover for either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah, he can also play as a No 10.
And that’s where Leeds could yet decide to use the player.
Indeed, Leeds are well served for wingers in Raphinha, Daniel James and Jack Harrison. They also have Crysencio Summerville, though his potential loan exit is what is prompting Leeds’ push for Summerville.
Furthermore, if Minamino still has any doubts, he could do worse than seek the opinion of Erling Haaland.
Indeed, his former RB Salzburg teammate was born in Leeds and remains a supporter of the club to this day. As such, any chat with Haaland about Leeds – to which Haaland is well versed – may help make his mind up.