Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013
Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has again attempted to lure Henrik Mkhitaryan back to his side despite strong links to Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur by claiming the Ukrainian club are better than their English counterparts.
With Mkhitaryan subject to several bids over the last few weeks, including one from Borussia Dortmund and Anzhi Makhachkala respectively, there appears little to choose between the four suitors.
Lucescu had yesterday also tried to tempt Mkhitaryan into a change-of-heart, even as reports suggest Liverpool have moved into pole position for the midfielder’s signature.
However, Lucescu has hailed Shakhtar as a better club than Liverpool or Spurs, with the viewpoint that the Ukrainians have won the league and been in the Champions League, both on a consistent basis.
"If he could have gone to a bigger club than Shakhtar I would have understood his desire", Lucescu was quoted by Turkish site Sporx as saying.
"I think of clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, not Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur. These clubs are not greater than Shakhtar.
"It’s his decision. But because there is still time to change his mind, I will say that he is making a mistake."
Mkhitaryan has made no secret of his desire to move abroad, with the offshoot being that he skipped pre-season training this summer, amid the interest from Liverpool, and faces a fine from Shakhtar.
Ironically, though unsurprisingly, Mkhitaryan was voted the league’s best player of the season after emerging as its leading scorer, his 25 goals helping Shakhtar clinch their fourth-straight title.
Lucescu, who was himself voted the league’s best manager of the season, added: "We are in the Champions League every year, and are almost always challenging for the title.
"Shakhtar is a good club for Mkhitaryan. He will be making a big mistake if he thinks there are many clubs that are better than us."
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