After knocking RB Salzburg out of the Champions League on Tuesday, Liverpool are also prepared to win Japanese starlet Takumi Minamino from the Austrian side.

According to ESPN, Liverpool have leapfrogged Manchester United in the race to sign the 24-year old Japanese gem by triggering the player's £7.25m release clause. The Reds hope to finalize the deal next month.

“I can confirm that there are currently discussions with Liverpool. It is an honor that these clubs are interested in our players,” RB Salzburg Sporting Director Christoph Freund told the Times'.

Could Minamino be headed to Anfield?

Minamino impressed in both Champions League matches against the Reds. He scored the second goal in Salzburg's short-lasting but eventful 3-3 comeback at Anfield. He also assisted Liverpool's other transfer target, Erling Haaland, in the match.

Jurgen Klopp was so impressed by Minamino's goal that he was spotted laughing in disbelief on the sideline.

If the Japanese international made his way to Anfield, he would follow in the footsteps of other great Liverpool players to make the switch. Both and Naby Keita got their start at the Austrian club.

The Independent has gone as far so say the deal is already done.

“He is an outstanding player with an outstanding personality,” reemphasized Salzburg's Freund.

“The big clubs have been watching him and if I was them, I'd have no hesitation to sign him. Takumi is ready to make the next step in January.”