Monday 11 December 2017

Reds in talks for £20m Mkhitaryan

John Percy

Brendan Rodgers is poised for talks with Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan this week as he attempts to seal a £20m deal.

Rodgers has identified Mkhitaryan as his flagship signing for the summer and has tabled a bid which is believed to have triggered a release clause in the 24-year-old's contract.

Liverpool are now waiting for the go-ahead to meet the Armenia international, one of the most highly regarded playmakers in Europe, and are hopeful of completing the transfer.

Ian Ayre, the club's managing director, cancelled a trip to attend an economics conference in Brazil to remain in England to assist in the deal and Liverpool will step up their bid to sign him in the next 48 hours.

Liverpool are understood to be aware of potential competition from a German club, possibly Borussia Dortmund, and know an impressive sales pitch is required to convince Mkhitaryan to move to Anfield.

Rodgers has already signed Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas and Kolo Toure from Manchester City, but Mkhitaryan's signing will be seen as a coup if they can finalise the deal.

He scored 25 goals for Shakhtar last season and starred in his country's defeat of Denmark in their World Cup qualifier six days ago.

Liverpool hope to complete the capture of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet this week. Sunderland want £10m and Liverpool's second bid of £8m was rejected. A compromise fee is expected to be agreed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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