Liverpool Close in on Armenian Superstar


Red Armenian?

According to various reports, Liverpool Football Club have intensified their efforts to land, three times Armenian player of the year, Henrikh Mkhitaryan from, Ukrainian champions, Shakhtar Donetsk. The Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that Mkhitaryan remains high up on the club’s summer shopping list, with Brendan Rodgers willing to spend big and meet the reported £22m asking price.

Since then, several sources, including Armenian state radio, have reported that talks have been taking place between representatives of the two clubs over a fee. It has also been claimed that a deal is very close to being struck for a fee of £18m, and that the player is ready to join the Anfield club.

Sports journalist, Tariq Panja,  tweeted earlier that Ian Ayre has cancelled his proposed trip to Brazil, due to begin on Monday, in order to attend to some urgent club business. With Ayre known to be the Reds leading negotiator, speculation has been mounting that the change of plans is in order to secure the midfielder’s signature.

Today, Sky Sports have picked up on the story in the UK, reporting that Liverpool have made contact with Shakhtar and that a deal seems likely to be concluded sooner rather than later.

Mkhitaryan scored 25 goals in 29 league games for Shakhtar last season, as well as finding the back of the net twice in eight Champions League games. He also weighed in with ten assists in the league, numbers which are excellent in anyone’s book. His, versatility is a huge asset too; primarily an attacking midfielder, Mkhitaryan can  play further back, and across the front-line, including as the main striker.

A full  international at seventeen years old, Mkhitaryan has represented his country thirty nine times and scored eleven goals, including six in Armenia’s ultimately failed Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. Revered in his homeland, the midfielder was named Armenian player of the year in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Liverpool have acted quickly in the transfer window thus far, with deals already agreed for Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas, and Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori looking all but certain to join them at Anfield very soon. The signing of Mkhitaryan, a much coveted talent, would lay down a real marker of intent as Brendan Rodgers prepares his squad for an assault on the top four this season.

Image by Валерий Дудуш

This article was first published on

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