By George Overhill

28th Jan, 2022 | 2:40pm

Takumi Minamino will cost Leeds United £20m with Liverpool now willing to sell

Takumi Minamino is now available to Leeds United ahead of the January transfer deadline, and is valued at £20million by Liverpool report The Athletic.

United made an initial approach for the Reds man yesterday which Sky Sports reported had been knocked back, but with the Anfield club appearing to have successfully hijacked Tottenham’s move for Luis Diaz they will now listen to offers.

The Express are reporting that a package of £50million is enough for the Porto man to move to Merseyside over North London, and that has changed the stance on sales.

According to The Athletic, both Minamino and Divock Origi are now candidates to leave on permanent deals, and £20million could be enough for the Japan international.

With Victor Orta apparently hitting a brick wall in his chase for Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Brenden Aaronson, having had a bid of the same size rejected (Leeds Live), this latest development could be the perfect alternative.

Major boost

For most of the window it has looked like Aaronson or bust for Leeds, and as bust looked increasingly like the outcome fans were beginning to feel disappointed.

But as so often is the case, things move fast in the final stretch of the transfer window, and the huge money being thrown around by clubs in the top six looks to have opened a door.

There is a certain irony that the frustration Leeds fans were feeling in the pursuit of one Salzburg attacking midfielder looks set to be eased if the Whites are successful in acquiring the man he partly replaced.

The Japanese attacker left Austria for Anfield in the 2020 January window, and American Aaronson arrived in the other direction a year later.

While 27-year-old Minamino is most frequently seen operating as a wide forward where Elland Road is already well-stocked, he can also operate through the middle which is likely to be Marcelo Bielsa’s preferred slot for him if he arrives.

He has found chances hard to come by behind Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and then Diogo Jota at Anfield, who do not play with a central attacking midfielder, and has only featured eight times in the league this year.

It makes a lot of sense for Leeds to provide him with a greater opportunity to perform.

In other Leeds United news, the club have reportedly made a big for an SPFL star.