Takumi Minamino Liverpool 2019-20Getty

Minamino move to Liverpool is an honour, says Red Bull Salzburg boss Marsch

Red Bull Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch says Takumi Minamino made it clear that he wanted to leave the club in January but is happy that he joined Liverpool.

The 25-year-old spent five years with the Austrian side and made almost 200 appearances in all competitions before he left to join Liverpool in January in a £7.25 million deal.

The Japan international has featured seven times for Jurgen Klopp's team since his arrival on a four-year deal and Marsch says it is an honour to see his former charge play with the European champions.

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"Taki made it clear at the beginning of the talks in November that he would like to leave in winter," the Salzburg boss told Goal and SPOX. 

"He wanted to make sure that he behaved best in the rest of his time in Salzburg. We helped him think carefully about his next step. It was clear to us: He will leave us.

"In the end, he went to the reigning Champions League winners, a deal that means a lot to the entire club and is a great honour."

Minamino was not the only star player Salzburg lost in the winter transfer window, as teenage striker Erling Haaland moved to Borussia Dortmund for €20 million (£17m/$22m).

The 19-year-old Norway international scored an incredible 29 goals in 27 matches for Salzburg and has kept his form up at Dortmund, where he has netted 12 in 11 appearances.

Marsch is proud of the club's role in helping him develop and enjoyed working with him. 

"Erling was uncertain what to do and when. He knew that his role in Salzburg was special. Red Bull Salzburg was intrinsically important for his development," he added.

"There were significantly more discussions with Erling. Being younger than Taki made it all the more important to deal with the situation properly. It took more work so that he didn't lose focus.

"In the end it is difficult not to understand his decision. The experiences we had with him and his father were wonderful and we will not forget them. We are proud of Erling and its success."