By Daniel Feliciano

11th Jun, 2022 | 8:10pm

Leeds United fall behind Monaco in race for Liverpool ace Takumi Minamino

Leeds have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino as Fulham and Monaco have moved ahead of them in the race for his signature, according to The Telegraph and 90min [June 11].

The Japan international has been linked with a move to Elland Road to link up with former manager Jesse Marsch, who is keen to bolster his Elland Road squad after narrowly escaping relegation in the 2021/22 season.

But despite Jurgen Klopp sanctioning his departure from Anfield this summer, the Whites have fallen behind in the race for a deal.

90min are reporting that Premier League new boys Fulham are hoping to complete a double swoop for Minamino and Nico Williams this summer, while John Percy claims that Ligue 1 side Monaco are the frontrunners.

But with Leeds waiting on the future of Raphinha to become clearer before making a move, they could miss out on the 27-year-old as he pursues regular first-team football away from Liverpool.

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Minamino is obviously a player that would strengthen the attack at Elland Road after a season that saw them struggle for goals in the absence of Patrick Bamford.

He would represent good value for a Premier League forward in the prime years of his career and would already know the system that Marsh wants to implement at the club.

But if the club aren’t looking to move quickly, it is surely to do with the fact they want to keep Raphinha at the club and he would simply not be as good as the Brazilian.

However waiting on the Raphinha deal is risky, as they could potentially miss out on their prime target to replace him and find themselves in a worse position.

But if that’s the decision that the club are making then we must back it and hope they’re doing the right thing. It’s been a good and swift summer so far, so fingers crossed it continues in that fashion.

In other Leeds news, new agents negotiating contracts as star man ready to leave