Liverpool strike £15.4m deal for Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo

Liverpool have struck a surprise deal to sign the Japanese defensive midfielder Wataru Endo for €18m (£15.4m) from Stuttgart.

A medical has been arranged for the 30-year-old on Thursday as Liverpool look to tie up the transfer after being beaten to the signatures of Moisés Caicedo from Brighton and Roméo Lavia from Southampton, who both opted for moves to Chelsea, despite Liverpool agreeing transfer fees with their clubs.

Related: ‘A World Cup final. It’s been a while’: Kane, Lineker and king hail Lionesses

There are no such problems anticipated in this deal. Endo, who is the captain of both Japan and Stuttgart, has already agreed personal terms and views the move as the biggest opportunity of his career.

The transfer has been driven by Liverpool’s new sporting director Jörg Schmadtke, who was appointed in May.

Liverpool have been looking for a defensive midfielder after selling Fabinho to Al-Ittihad and their former captain Jordan Henderson to Al-Ettifaq.

Jürgen Klopp’s midfield has also been reinforced this summer with the arrival of the more attack-minded options of Hungary’s Dominik Szoboszlai, 22, from RB Leipzig and Argentina’s Alexis Mac Allister, 24, from Brighton.