Liverpool’s last ditch attempts to land Ukrainian attacking midfielder Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro may have ended in failure, but Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he could still look to sign the 24-year-old should he become available.
Liverpool dominated the final day of the January transfer window with managing director Ian Ayre attempting to complete a move for the Ukraine international, only to see the move collapse when Dnipro’s billionaire owner Ihor Kolomoyskyi failed to sign the relevant paperwork in time.
The Reds manager, who was speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with West Brom on Suday, admitted that if Konoplyanka can offer something to his side, he would look to resurrect the move.
“If we feel he can improve us, we are a professional club,” admitted Rodgers.
“There will be a greater market to look at then but it wouldn't stop us. It is of no consequence now. I don't focus on that. There is no point in me looking back.”
The Merseyside club had already missed out on their main transfer target in January after FC Basle winger Mohamed Salah chose to join Premier League rivals Chelsea over a move to Anfield. The snub led to Ayre flying out to the Ukraine to try and thrash out a late deal, and Rodgers stresses that neither Ayre nor a lack of money offered was to blame for the collapse.
“The club did everything possible to get the player in,” Rodgers claimed.
“We had our chief scout and managing director and doctor out there to conclude the deal - and from our point of view, categorically Ian Ayre did a brilliant job trying to negotiate.
“I've heard it mentioned the problem was about the money, but that was not a problem. It just wasn't to be.
“I feel really sorry for the player because he was obviously desperate to come but it's gone now and we will review it in the summer.”
Rodgers was responding to claims from Ukraine that the fault lay not at their door, but with Liverpool after executive director Andriy Rusol blamed Ayre for failing to transfer the money in time to sign off the deal.
“The president could not keep the midfielder because his contract spelled out the specific amount of compensation,” admitted Rusol, when acknowledging a £15m release clause in his contract.
“In fact, the British did not have time to complete the transaction. Our club could not sign the documents until our account received the money. And they did not receive anything before the deadline.
“Igor Kolomoisky gave the go-ahead immediately. It is not our fault, Liverpool representatives could have arrived a day or two earlier.
“Up to the deadline we were waiting for the transfer of money from Liverpool. But this did not happen.”
Rusol did give the Reds hope that a move could go through in summer though, as he conceded that Konoplyanka will eventually move on sooner or later.
“Yevhen is a very strong person and a true professional. He knows that his move to a big club is only a matter of time,” said Rusol.