Champions League winners Liverpool have completed the signing of highly-rated midfielder Takumi Minamino from Austrian giants RB Salzburg.
The 24-year-old underwent medical and agreed personal terms with the Premier League leaders on Wednesday after his £7.25m release clause was met.
The former RB Salzburg player who joined from Japanese side Cerezo Osaka for less than £1m in 2015, will wear the No 18 shirt at Anfield has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Reds.
He has scored seven goals and five assists in all competitions for the Austrian league leaders this season. He has also been prolific at the international level, netting 11 times in just 22 games for Japan following a 2015 debut against Iran.
The Japan attacking-midfielder impressed against the Reds in their two Champions League group games this season. He scored at Anfield last month and impressed despite Salzburg’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool last Tuesday.
After his unveiling, Minamino told the Liverpool website that to play in the Premier League is his dream and he is happy to achieve that.
He said: “It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player. And I’m so excited that the moment has come true.
“To play in the Premier League was one of my targets. I think this is the top-class league in the world; I was thinking if my career as a footballer progressed smoothly, someday I would be able to play in the Premier League.
“But I never thought I would be able to play in this team and I’m really happy about it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Reacting to the signing of the midfielder, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thanked the club chiefs for getting the player in time for the FA Cup clash with Everton in January.
He said: “This is fabulous news – a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this.
“Takumi is a very quick, very clever player, he finds space between the lines. He is brave with the ball but also brave without the ball – a proper team player. He makes the best of himself for the benefit of others.
“It’s not hard to see why Salzburg is a favoured destination for players with real talent and hunger.
“From our experiences dealing with, and facing, Salzburg on and off the pitch in recent months, their reputation as a benchmark modern European club will only grow.”