The Guardian has reported that Mkhitaryan remained 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.
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 weighed in with ten assists in the league too, numbers which are excellent in anyone’s book. His, versatility is a huge asset too; primarily an attacking midfielder, Mkhitaryan can also 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.
You can catch up with Neil on Twitter @Neil1980 and on his blog http://itsallinthegameblog.wordpress.com/
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