Transfer news: Liverpool face battle to sign Yevhen Konoplyanka despite opening negotiations, with Tottenham and Manchester United linked
Two unnamed Premier League clubs are also interested in Ukraine forward
Thursday 30 January 2014
Liverpool are facing competition from two unnamed Premier League clubs for the signature of Ukraine forward Yevhen Konoplyanka, despite opening negotiations with his club on Wednesday.
Managing director Ian Ayre is leading talks with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to sign the 24-year-old after manager Brendan Rodgers revealed on Tuesday night that they are closing in on “a major signing”. However, several clubs including Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain have all shown an interest in Konoplyanka in the last six months and sources close to the player admitted yesterday that Liverpool are not the only team in contention.
Last night, Spurs and City dismissed speculation linking them to the striker who scored against England in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley in September 2012, although reports in Ukraine suggested Tottenham could be in the frame. United officials were also tight-lipped over their potential interest but with rumours in Italy that Internazionale are keen on taking Nani on loan and Wilfried Zaha set to complete his short-term move to Cardiff, manager David Moyes could be in the market for more wide players. Moyes has also been linked with a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos.
Dnipro are understood to be holding out for a fee close to £20million for Konoplyanka having turned down several bids this week, although an offer of around £15m is likely to be enough to persuade them to sell their prize asset. Konoplyanka’s father, Oleg, admitted yesterday that he expects his son to leave Ukraine, with sources also confirming that his future will be resolved before tomorrow night’s deadline. That would rule out the prospect of PSG making an offer, despite the French side tracking him for over a year.
Having already lost out to Chelsea for Mohamed Salah this week, Liverpool are desperate to add another attacking option to their squad and Konoplyanka would provide versatility given his ability to play on both flanks.
However, with time running out, Ayre will be keen to make sure they are not gazumped for a second time by a rival for a top-four finish.
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