Liverpool have reportedly reached an agreement to sign Stuttgart and Japan midfielder Wataru Endo.
The Reds have been urgently looking to reinforce the number six position after Fabinho departed for Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad in a £40 million deal. Liverpool had bids rejected for top targets Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who both opted to join Chelsea instead.
With time running out in the transfer window, Liverpool have acted quickly to identify alternatives to Caicedo and Lavia. Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure and Fulham’s Joao Palhinha had been linked but according to Fabrizio Romano, the Reds will now bring in Endo.
The 30-year-old has less than 12 months remaining on his Stuttgart contract and has been allowed to travel to Merseyside after the club’s failed attempts to extend his deal. Liverpool will reportedly pay around €18 million (£15.4 million) to complete the signing.
Endo has already agreed personal terms with Liverpool and will undergo his medical on Thursday. The Japan international is said to have dreamed of joining the Reds as he prepares to end his five-year spell at Stuttgart.
The defensive midfielder joined the Bundesliga club from Belgian side Sint-Truiden in 2019 and went on to make 133 appearances, scoring 15 goals. Endo was named as Stuttgart’s captain and played a key role for the team.
Last season, he netted six goals and provided five assists in 40 matches across all competitions. Endo also scored in Stuttgart’s 4-0 cup win last weekend.
At international level, the 50-cap midfielder has played for Japan at two World Cups, helping them reach the last 16 in Qatar 2022.
The former Urawa Reds youth product will become Liverpool’s third summer signing after Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister. He could make his debut against Bournemouth on Saturday if registered in time.