Liverpool set to announce signing of Shakhtar Donetsk star.
CaughtOffside understands a deal to bring Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Liverpool is all but completed with the £18million signing expected to be unveiled at Anfield in due course.
The Armenian international will become the Reds’ third major signing of the summer after Kolo Toure joined on a free from Manchester City and Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas joined for £7.7million, making it a very promising transfer window so far for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The former Swansea boss guided Liverpool to 7th place in 2012/13, but will be expected to build on that next season as he has set himself the challenge of taking the club into the top four.
The signing of Mkhitaryan for £18million will show the club’s growing ambition, as they have spent big on a player that had been attracting a great deal of interest. Still only 24, the attacker has achieved great things already in his career, winning three consecutive league titles with Shakhtar as well as numerous trophies in his time in his native Armenia.
On an individual level, Mkhitaryan has also been voted the Armenian Footballer of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012, as well as the Ukranian league’s best player in 2012. And despite being a midfielder, he was Shakhtar’s and the whole Ukranian league’s top scorer this season with 25 goals.
His finishing will be great news for Liverpool fans, as their team really struggled last season due to an over-reliance on star player Luis Suarez and a lack of alternatives upfront. Mkhitaryan would guarantee the Reds more goals from midfield, as well as offering creativity to the side in linking up with the likes of Coutinho behind the main strikers.
Liverpool will now be hoping they can keep hold of Suarez, who has been linked with a move away for so much of this summer, as the additions brought in so far by Rodgers look like giving them a very strong team that could challenge for major honours next season, and get them back on track after a difficult few years.
Although Suarez is not so much discontent with life at Liverpool as with life in England, Rodgers will be hoping to recruit more names to persuade the Uruguayan of the club’s ambitions. The signing of Mkhitaryan is not expected to stop more names coming in, such as Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who is wanted at Anfield to play in a deeper midfield role than the Armenian.
For now, however, the focus is on Mkhitaryan, who will be unveiled along with Iago Aspas as a Liverpool player imminently.
The Daily Mirror previously reported on Liverpool’s interest in Mkhitaryan but CaughtOffside believes a deal is now set to be completed in the coming days.