Julian Ward aiming to follow in Michael Edwards’ £101m Liverpool footsteps as £10m profit eyed

Liverpool are hoping to sell Takumi Minamino for £17 million amid interest from Leeds United, Wolves, Southampton and Monaco.

With Benfica demanding £85 million for Darwin Nunez, Liverpool need to raise sufficient funds to purchase the striker.

Sadio Mane's expected exit will, of course, fund a significant portion. The Reds are hoping to net around £40 million from Bayern Munich for the Senegal international.

And the departure of Takumi Minamino will also help raise the required capital for Nunez.

Liverpool have slapped a £17 million price tag on the Japan international's head, with Leeds United, Wolves, Southampton and Monaco all interested.

A reluctant sale

Takumi Minamino with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

In truth, it's a sale that Jurgen Klopp will be making with not just his head but his heart.

Since arriving at Anfield from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020, Minamino's found it difficult to light the touchpaper to his Reds career.

A combination of world-class forwards in front of him, acclimatising to the Premier League and joining imminently before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic mean that he's never been more than a fringe player on Merseyside.

After a frustrating two-and-a-half years, Minamino - who had a spell on loan at Southampton last season - will want to go out and play regularly once again.

That's something that Klopp is acutely aware of.

While Minamino was persistently being omitted from match-day squads as Liverpool chased an unprecedented quadruple in the business end of the 2021-22 campaign, the German had compassion.

Klopp took the time to hail the resolve and positivity Minamino continued to show despite being left on the periphery. His intensity in training was invaluable.

The Reds boss, therefore, will reluctantly understand that it's time for Minamino to depart.

Previous savvy sales

Former Liverpool pair Dominic Solanke and Harry Wilson. Picture: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Former sporting director Michael Edwards achieved cult status among Kopite.

Edwards developed a penchant for driving a hard bargain when selling fringe players. He earned Liverpool fortunes.

The fees accrued for the exits of Dominic Solanke, Jordan Ibe, Rhian Brewster, Danny Ward, Ki-Jana Hoever and Harry Wilson were extolled.

They were six bit-part players, at best, who earned the Reds a combined £101 million.

Now Edward's successor Julian Ward can pull off his first astute sale.

Minamino cost just £7.25 million and Liverpool are hoping to more than double their money.

Valuable contributions

In fairness to Minamino, he's played much more of a role than the aforementioned sextet.

The 27-year-old will leave Anfield as a Premier League champion, having made 10 outings after his arrival that season.

And if it wasn't for his goals, the Carabao Cup and FA Cup would both not be adorning the trophy cabinet right now.

Minamino finished as Liverpool's top scorer in both competitions, bagging four times in the former and bagging three in the FA Cup.

Perhaps £17 million may even underestimate his contributions.

But with two years remaining on his contract, and with the club that does win his signature unlikely to make any future profit on him, you can understand the Reds’ valuation.

At the time, many believed the purchase of Minamino would be risk-free.

Either he was going to mesmerise as he did for Salzburg when they met Liverpool in the Champions League on two occasions or a tidy surplus would be yielded.

It will be the latter.