Liverpool are chasing the signature of Ukranian winger Yehven Konoplyanka from Dnipro, in a deal that could exceed £15m.
Following the resounding 4-0 win over Everton last night, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers stated that he was still hopeful of making a major signing before the transfer window closes on Friday in order to boost their push for fourth and final Champions League spot. Speaking to the press after the game, Rodgers said:
“I think we will hopefully do something over the next couple of days. I saw some headlines after yesterday’s press conference in terms of the manager being angry with the club – nothing is further from the truth. We are not just going to get the players we want to get in for a number of reasons. Hopefully we can have a major signing before the window shuts and if we can do that we will be set up for the remaining games.”
Reports in today’s newspapers suggest that the ‘major signing’ Rodgers was talking about is Dnipro’s 24 year old Ukranian winger Yehven Konoplyanka. The news was first reported in the morning by The Times, and was later picked up by several other news sources, who claimed that Liverpool are willing to break the bank in order to make sure that they do not miss out on yet another transfer target.
Konoplyanka impressed English football fans with his mesmerizing turns against England in the World Cup qualifiers, and would be ideally suited to Liverpool’s favored 4-3-3 formation. With supposedly just one year remaining on his contract at Dnipro, he has been linked with a move away from the Ukrainian side from last summer itself.
The winger has scored 33 goals and provided 27 assists for Dnipro in 155 appearances in all competitions according to stats available at TransferMarkt. He has represented his country on 49 occasions at all age levels, and has scored 12 goals and assisted another 6 in those appearances. Primarily right-footed, he is capable of playing on either wing, and can also play as a secondary striker if need be.
The player’s father has been quoted in Ukrainian media confirming the links to be true, although he did not name the club specifically. He also stated that Konoplyanka’s move could be confirmed by the end of this week, and that they were not interested in any offers from other Ukrainian clubs. Even Konoplyanka’s agent has confirmed that talks with Liverpool are ongoing and a deal seems likely. However, worryingly, he has also mentioned about talks with another English club, thought to be Tottenham.
Konoplyanka’s agent: pic.twitter.com/3JCQRwoFpt
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) January 29, 2014
Konoplyanka was supposed to be Liverpool’s summer target, but failure to land the signature of Mohamed Salah has accelerated Liverpool’s plans. The club’s head of recruitment Dave Fallows is understood to be travelling to Ukraine to hold talks with Konoplyanka. According to FNN Ukraine, the €18m transfer will go through tomorrow and Konoplyanka will sign a 4.5 year contract if talks are successful.
Signing the Ukrainian would be a clear sign of intent from Liverpool that they are going to capitalize on their strong start and push to secure a Champions League berth come the end of the season.