Liverpool ‘reject initial approach’ from Leeds United for attacker

According to reports, Liverpool have ‘rejected initial approaches’ from Leeds United and Monaco for their attacker Takumi Minamino.

The Japan international has played 18 times this term but they have only started six games across all competitions.

Despite this, according to PA News Agency, Liverpool have turned down both of these approaches.

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While Minamino is well behind Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in the pecking order Jurgen Klopp’s side are still in four competitions – they have a League Cup final against Chelsea in a month’s time – is it believed there is no real desire to offload the 27-year-old.

It would take a considerable offer for them to be persuaded to consider allowing the player, signed from RB Salzburg in January 2020 for £7.25million, to leave.

Atalanta are also understood to be considering striker Divock Origi as a serious option should their Newcastle-linked Colombia international Duvan Zapata move to the Premier League.

There has not yet been a formal approach to Liverpool but it could be a move which appeals to the Belgium forward, in a World Cup year, who has scored five goals in 11 appearances this season despite struggling for pitch time.

Elsewhere, Erling Haaland has praised Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk:

“You know how tall he is, how strong he is and how fast he is, and also the timing is crazy,” Haaland said.

“I don’t think I won one duel against him because he’s a physical monster.”

Haaland has doubled down on comments he made about the Holland defender in August last year.

He said: “I do not really fear anyone, I think he is the best defender. I think quite a few others in the room [at the press conference] agree with me on that.

“He is fast, strong and ‘bad’ smart, and there are three important things you must have. I have played against him twice, I have said that he is the best I have met.”

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