Liverpool are set to conclude a deal for Takumi Minamino during the January transfer window, according to The Independent.
It would represent a quality signing for the Reds who hope to pick up the Japanese star for just £7.25 million.
The Red Bull Salzburg winger played against Liverpool in midweek with the Champions League holders running out 2-0 winners.
It was perhaps during the game between the two sides at Anfield in October where Minamino caught the eye.
The 24-year-old scored and registered an assist in a 4-3 defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
His record since arriving in Austra is pretty impressive. Since signing in 2015 he has scored 64 goals and registered 44 assists in 199 appearances.
It is little surprise that Liverpool are keen to add the trickster to their ranks but it could be bad news for a current player.
Xherdan Shaqiri has just started to play his way back into Klopp’s plans following a few injury concerns. All that hard work could be about to come to nothing, however, with Minamino set to drop him back down the pecking order.
The man with 22 caps and 11 goals for Japan is versatile. He can play on the left, on the right and through the middle if called upon.
In that sense he is almost a carbon copy of Shaqiri and the 28-year-old’s chances of first-team football could become remote should the Salzburg star sign.
The £80,000-a-week (Spotrac) ace has only made four appearances in the Premier League this season.
His chances of football are going to be even smaller once the highly-rated Minamino signs and Shaqiri could be one that is offloaded to balance the books.
Given his age, he isn’t going to improve much more and the Japan international is an upgrade on the Switzerland international.
Shaqiri will hope to star for his country at Euro 2020 and he may need to leave in order to keep his eye in ahead of that tournament.