Thursday, 27th June, 2013
Three major European clubs may be competing for Shakhtar Donetsk's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but former Russia international Aleksandr Bubnov believes Liverpool are the midfielder's preferred choice, even if there is still a chance the Armenian will not end up at Anfield.
The Reds are joined by Borussia Dortmund and Anzhi Makhachkala in their admiration of 25-goal man Mkhitaryan, who boasts a release clause of €23m, and who Bubnov claims has become a "hostage" in his own transfer saga.
Both Dortmund and Anzhi have submitted offers for the player, of €23m and €35m respectively, but with no knowledge of Mkhitaryan's current whereabouts negotiations are yet to begin.
The midfielder has skipped pre-season training and is facing a fine from Shakhtar Donetsk, while Bubnov insists the English Premier League is the place Mkhitaryan wants to further his footballing education.
"Henry will be a perfect fit for Anzhi in terms of the quality of their play", Bubnov told Russian daily Izvestia. "But [Mkhitaryan] wants Liverpool.
"The problem lies in the fact that Mkhitaryan has become a hostage in the issue of his transfer to another club. He is unable to decide anything, with the clubs interested doing it for him."
Dortmund have been given a 10-day deadline by Shakhtar Donetsk director Sergei Palkin to meet a valuation of €30m.
Anzhi, meanwhile, can consider themselves in pole position as far as Shakhtar Donetsk are concerned due to their big money bid; the 24-year-old's current contract runs until 2015 having already spent three seasons with the Ukrainian outfit.
Bubnov, who won three league titles during his time with Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow in the 1970s and 1980s, added: "Anzhi board member German Tkachenko is certainly keen on making the player's transfer a reality.
"Do not be surprised if a deal with the English club breaks down and he continues his career [at Anzhi]."
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