Lucescu “can understand the urge to leave to go to a club that surpasses Shakhtar” but says Anfield giants don’t qualify
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been warned he’ll be making a big mistake if he joins Liverpool… as the transfer saga hit another stumbling block.
Reports in Russia suggested the highly-rated Armenian midfielder has finally smoothed the way for a £25million switch to the Reds, after an agreement was reached with his Ukrainian club, Shakhtar Donetsk.
There were even suggestions he will fly into England in the next few days, but sources at Anfield insist their main transfer deal of the summer is still some way from completion, as difficult talks with his THREE owners proceed painfully slowly.
And the goal-scoring midfielder’s boss at Shakhtar, Mircea Lucescu, warned him there is still time to reconsider, and that swapping Champions League regulars Shakhtar for a club not even in the Europa League next season isn’t necessarily a step up.
“It is his decision, his desire, but there is still time for him to change his mind, because I think he is making a big mistake,” said Lucescu.
“I can understand the urge to leave if he has a chance to go to a club that surpasses Shakhtar, like Barcelona or Real Madrid, but not many clubs are beyond our level – not clubs like Liverpool or Tottenham.
“We are a strong club with 50,000 passionate supporters every week, and every year we are fighting for the league, the cups and the Champions League.
“The whole team is helping him become the player he is too, because everyone gives him the chance to show up in the penalty area and score the goals that make him wanted.
“This place is good for him, and he is making a mistake if he thinks there are many teams above this level.”
Mkhitaryan though, seems determined to force a transfer, despite the problems negotiating with third-party owners based in Armenia.
Liverpool are a lot further down the line in the complicated negotiation process than the other interested parties, and boss Brendan Rodgers is determined to get the man he has made his No.1 transfer target.
Rodgers may well do some business this week, even if the deal for Mkhitaryan is again delayed, as Barcelona are ready to step up their interest in keeper Pepe Reina now the Confederations Cup is over.
Spain international Reina is surplus to requirements at Anfield after the signing of Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet, and he will be allowed to go for a fee of around £8m.