Liverpool star Taki Minamino has reportedly withdrawn from the Japan national squad for the club’s World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in order to tend to club affairs.
This comes from Yahoo! Japan, with the publication not explaining whether the former loanee intends to seek a permanent move to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton outfit.
The forward’s future has been called into question since he was dropped by Jurgen Klopp despite scoring in the Reds’ 7-0 demolishing of Crystal Palace in December.
The decision to freeze out the Japan international from the first-XI despite putting in arguably his best shift in a Liverpool shirt is one that has certainly confused fans.
Given that he’s yet to really enjoy a full season for us since making the switch from RB Salzburg, it’s difficult to see the player being axed already in the summer transfer window.
A new forward, however, is deemed a priority for Klopp, and with Harvey Elliott also likely to be given a shot in the first-team next season, it raises the question as to who will be kept on.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi have been tipped for Anfield exits, which would theoretically leave space for Minamino beside the former Fulham Academy graduate and a new signing.