In a bid to strengthen their attacking options, Liverpool set their sights on Japanese winger Keito Nakamura from Austrian side LASK. However, their initial offer of £6 million was swiftly turned down by LASK. The Austrian club are standing firm on their valuation of £9.5 million for the talented 22-year-old. Despite a reported loan-back option, Liverpool has not come back with an improved bid.
Nakamura’s Rise to Stardom
Keito Nakamura’s journey began with Gamba Osaka in Japan, where he showcased his potential in 38 first-team appearances. He later ventured to Europe, impressing during a loan spell with FC Twente in the Netherlands, scoring six goals in 18 games. After a brief stint in Belgium with Sint-Truiden, Nakamura made his way to Austria. Consequently, signing for Juniors OÖ, the partner club of LASK. His performances with LASK have been remarkable, boasting 26 goals and nine assists in 68 first-team appearances, with 17 goals coming in the previous season.
Nakamura’s impressive performances in the Austrian Bundesliga earned him recognition at the international level. He earned two senior caps for Japan since the beginning of the year. Further highlighting his growing prominence in the footballing world. The winger’s solid return of 14 goals in 31 matches last term has garnered interest from various top European clubs. Eintracht Frankfurt happens to be one among them.
Liverpool Bid Rejected for the Japanese Attacker
Liverpool’s pursuit of Nakamura hit an obstacle when LASK turned down their offer of £6 million. The Reds even included a loan-back option as part of the deal, but the Austrian club stood firm in their demand for £9.5 million. Despite being just £3.5 million away from LASK’s valuation, Liverpool has not made a new bid. This has left the door open for other interested clubs.
As Liverpool hesitates to meet LASK’s asking price, Lille has emerged as the frontrunner to secure Nakamura’s services. Initially hesitant about moving to France, Nakamura has now reconsidered and is willing to make the switch. Lille’s interest in the young Japanese talent puts them in pole position to secure his signature and strengthens their attacking options for the upcoming season.
Lille are now reported to be leading the race. Liverpool’s reluctance to make an improved bid might cost them the chance to sign Nakamura. LASK’s firm stance on their valuation, coupled with Lille’s willingness to meet the asking price, puts the French club in a favorable position. Jurgen Klopp faces the possibility of missing out on the young talent, leading the Reds to explore other options to bolster their squad.
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