Liverpool target Mkhitaryan following €30 million ex-Chelsea target exit blueprint at Shakhtar

Donbass Arena Shakhtar

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is following a direct example of another former Shakhtar player in an effort to force a move, potentially to Liverpool.

Armenian midfield whiz Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been dominating the headlines over the past fortnight, and even today it was claimed he was pictured in England, first at an airport and then at a hotel as tweeted photographs went viral.

Reports remain unconfirmed, and we'd recommend treating them with suspicion.

German newspaper Bild also today claimed Borussia Dortmund want to bid for the player, which should of course cause the Reds concern given their status as Champions League finalists makes them more relevant than they have been for many a year.

What we do know for a fact is that Mkhitaryan is not where he is supposed to be, with Shakhtar confirming the midfielder skipped training with the club when he was due back in Ukraine.

It's a shrewd tactic on the part of Mkhitaryan, given the way Shakhtar caved in during similar circumstances in January which were even more high-pressured.

Key man Willian had scored vital goals to take Donetsk through to the Champions League knockout stages, and attracted the interest of Chelsea among other clubs in the process.

In January Willian took the step of skipping training after a break to Brazil, in an effort to force such a move, angering the Shakhtar hierarchy.

The winger got his wish in the end, with the club caving in to a mega-offer from Russian club Anzhi Machhachkala at the end of the month.

The fee was €30 million, and Shakhtar ironically thanked Willian for his professionalism in a statement post-sale, in short the dirty tactic of skipping training had worked for both parties, the player got his move and the club got the sort of money they had aspired.

Donetsk sold Fernandinho onto Manchester City so are not desperate to sell Mkhitaryan for any reason, and why should they be for a key midfielder who netted 25 goals in 29 games for the club.

Which is likely why the Armenian has taken the step to follow Willian by going AWOL to force a move, considering how the club buckled months earlier.

Mkhitaryan employed agent Mino Raiola little over a month ago, who represents Mario Balotelli, and is an experience player representative who knows every trick in the book.

Where the Armenian will end up is uncertain, but for now he is playing the game to seal a big move, and it's easy to see why he is taking these steps to do so.

 

image: © jbl767

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch