It seems that Liverpool are the club with the most urgency to end their signing period as quick as possible, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan quite close to being the next name on the list to join the Reds this summer, following his excellent season for Shakhtar Donetsk and his performances for the Armenian national team.
According to Bloomberg, Liverpool’s Managing Director Ian Ayre has cancelled his trip to Rio, which would have included him speaking economic opportunities for soccer at a conference so he can complete the signing of the 24 year old emerging star.
Mkhitaryan led Armenia to a stunning 4-0 win over Denmark last week, which included a brilliant solo effort from the attacking midfielder. He was the top scorer in the Ukrainian Premier League as Shakhtar secured yet another title, scoring 25 goals while adding 10 assists last season, proving that it might be time for him to move on.
Make no mistake – Donetsk, at least with their current roster, might be a stronger team than Liverpool, who couldn’t qualify against Zenit in the Europa League last season, while Shakhtar reached the Champions League quarterfinals. While money isn’t really a problem for those playing at the Donbass Arena, the prestige of playing in a Western European league and especially in England seems to good to refuse.
How much? Mkhitaryan will reportedly cost £20 million, with Shakhtar never selling for cheap. Before the transfer season began, it seemed like Liverpool had only £25 million to give Rodgers for new signings, but with Iago Aspas arriving and Luis Alberto also on the verge of being signed, Liverpool will cross that mark by quite a wide margin if Mkhitaryan’s deal comes through.
This might suggest they have already conceded the departure of Luis Suarez, which might bring at least £35 million to the club, or it’s simply the American owners feeling a lot more generous before Rodgers’ kicks off his second campaign.