Liverpool announce Takumi Minamino signing from FC Salzburg

Liverpool have announced the signing of FC Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino on a four-and-a-half year deal.

Minamino will officially join when the January transfer window opens on Jan. 1. Sources have told ESPN the fee is £7.25 million and his debut could come against Everton in the FA Cup on Jan 5.

"It has been a dream, my dream to become a Liverpool player. And I'm so excited that the moment has come true," Minamino said.

"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."

Sources told ESPN how Liverpool beat Premier League rivals Manchester United to the Japan international's signature by triggering the 24-year-old's release clause following their Champions League victory against Salzburg last Tuesday.

And with the Austrian Bundesliga having closed down for its winter break, Minamino completed his medical at Liverpool on Wednesday ahead of the move.

"Their football is of such a high level and I did feel that they were the champions of the Champions League. Feeling that, it makes me feel even happier that I can play in this team. I'm really happy to be part of that team," Minamino added.

"My target is to win the Premier League and the Champions League, and to make good contributions to the team."

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Liverpool beat Mexican side Monterrey 2-1 on Wednesday in the Club World Cup semifinals, setting up a final against Flamengo.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: "This is fabulous news -- a wonderful signing. We are really, really happy about this.

"Our supporters have had the chance to see him close up recently so I don't need to sing too loudly about his qualities as they are already known.

"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."