Wataru Endo jokingly begged ex-Liverpool ace to tell Jurgen Klopp a lie after manager’s query

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Wataru Endo has revealed that he once jokingly asked international colleague Takumi Minamino to lie to Jurgen Klopp about his age.

The Japanese midfielder became Liverpool’s third signing of the summer upon joining from Stuttgart last month, three years after he lined out against the Reds – for whom his fellow countryman was playing at the time – in a pre-season friendly.

Speaking to Synchronous in his homeland, the recent Anfield acquisition – who was then 27 – confessed that he’d begged the winger to mislead his manager about that age.

The now 30-year-old claimed that Minamino was asked by Klopp ‘how old that No. 3 (Endo’s shirt number) was’, to which the midfielder humorously replied ‘Try to say 23 years old!’.

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Endo’s tongue-in-cheek anecdote may indicate that, three years before Klopp finally brought him to Liverpool, he had his eye on the Japan international from that friendly against Stuttgart ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

Towards the end of the summer in which they won the Premier League title, the Reds saw off their German counterparts – who were revelling in promotion back to the Bundesliga – on a 3-0 scoreline.

However, with the midfielder imploring Minamino to lie to the LFC boss about his age, perhaps he had designs on joining his compatriot at Anfield, with the winger having arrived from Red Bull Salzburg the previous winter.

As we now know, it seems Endo didn’t have to worry about pleading for fibs after all, with Klopp bringing him to Merseyside just under three weeks ago.

The 30-year-old will be desperate to repay the faith shown in him by Liverpool and their manager, having signed a four-year contract (BBC Sport), and hopefully everyone concerned will ultimately look back on the move as one which was worth the wait.

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