Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed that the club held discussions with Liverpool this week over Takumi Minamino’s loan.
Minamino was loaned to the Saints on the final day of the January transfer window.
According to The Athletic, he ‘expressed a desire’ to make the move in his talks with Hasenhuttl amid his struggles for gametime at Anfield.
Having scored a first Premier League goal in the 7-0 rout of Crystal Palace at the end of December, Minamino only played six top-flight minutes across the Reds’ next seven games.
Minamino falls out of favour after early Southampton success
The Japanese international made a flying start at St Mary’s, scoring two goals in his first three appearances.
But he’s now been an unused substitute in four of their last six matches.
“We had communications [with Liverpool] this week,” Hasenhuttl told Hampshire Live.
“We discussed his position, discussed his development, and they were absolutely not unhappy.”
The Austrian later added: “I’m sure that he will get a lot more minutes to play until the end of the season and then we will look at what we do.”
There is reportedly no option to buy in the loan agreement.
Transfer Tavern verdict
Whilst Hasenhuttl claims Liverpool aren’t unhappy with Minamino’s situation, the loan move couldn’t really be called a success at this point.
Their ambition was surely that he would play week-in, week-out and find form and confidence, but he’s failed to kick-on from that hugely promising start.
In fairness, he has joined a struggling side, with just three wins this calendar year, but as it stands, you wouldn’t expect particularly strong interest from Southampton in making the loan permanent.
If Liverpool are offered a healthy profit on their £7.2million investment from elsewhere, it’s hard to imagine them saying no.
In other news, fans are calling for another loanee to be retained.
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