Liverpool are set to miss out on one of their prime transfer targets this summer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after the German giants Borussia Dortmund took a considerable step forward in a bid to hijack the deal for the Armenian, from right under the noses of the Reds.
The Merseyside outfit have been courting the midfielder for quite some time now and were close to wrapping up a deal for him. However, the player’s multiple ownership problems proved to be the biggest hindrance in securing his signature.
Last week, reports emerged in the Russian newspaper Sport Express that Liverpool had agreed a deal to sign the 24-year-old, with the player due to complete his medical and other formalities within a week.
Since then, the player reportedly went AWOL from the Ukrainian club and didn’t return for the pre-season training, in an attempt to force through a transfer, which further ignited hopes among the Reds fans that a deal might be on the cards.
However, in football change of events can sometimes unfold dramatically within hours, not to talk about weeks, especially in case of transfer dealings.
According to reports from The Guardian, Dortmund sent a delegation to Donetsk on Friday where a deal, believed to be worth €25m (£21.5m) had been struck for the midfielder.
Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce has put the final seal on Liverpool’s hope, by tweeting:
#LFC have admitted defeat in their bid to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Shakhtar have informed them he’s on the brink of signing for Dortmund.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 5, 2013
The Champions League runners-up lost the mercurial Mario Götze for €37m to Bayern Munich earlier this summer, but have swiftly replenished the squad with three quality additions, including the Mkhitaryan deal.
Liverpool have also kept them busy in the transfer market so far and brought in Luis Alberto (Sevilla),Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo),Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) and Kolo Touré on a free transfer.