Will Liverpool Spend What's Required on Henrikh Mkhitaryan?

Claudio Villa

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was strongly linked with Liverpool yesterday, but the lingering question remains whether or not the club will be willing to spend the type of the money that's required.

Yesterday evening saw a resurgence in the Liverpool links to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with the narrative again doubling back, this time toward the idea that Liverpool would be in for the talented Armenian attacking midfielder whether or not Luis Suarez was sold. Depending on what you read, the club had either made or were preparing an official approach, and they were expected to make headway on a potential move in the coming days. Given that it's transfer season, the timeline means absolutely nothing, but the interest was encouraging and seemed to signal that Liverpool would be willing to pay what was needed to bring Mkhitaryan to Merseyside.

In this case, what's apparently needed is a fee around £20m, which would represent a significant move in the transfer market for the club. Having spent almost that exact same amount on the combination of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in January, Liverpool would now be tasked with spending that same number on one player, in addition to the other moves that have already been agreed and are still in the works.

Given the money that could be coming in--Andy Carroll to West Ham rumored at £15m, Suarez potentially at £40-50m, Reina around £10-12m, any of Martin Skrtel, Sebastian Coates, and Stewart Downing collectively for £20-25m total--the price on Mkhitaryan wouldn't appear to be completely out of reach, assuming that the cash coming in is freed up for spending by Brendan Rodgers and his personnel.

What lingers is the disappointment and general lack of ambition that's remained after a string of high-profile transfer failures; Sturridge and Coutinho have gone a good distance towards erasing some of the negative sentiment of transfer windows past, but last summer's farce looms large, as does the summer before that, when Liverpool last spent such a large transfer fee on a player. Only that was Stewart Downing.

If Liverpool's interest is real and they're willing to compete financially with any other clubs that might be making an approach--without getting fleeced or having their interest taken advantage of by paying silly money--it would represent the type of initiative we've craved, and hopefully indicate that the changes we've felt in bits and pieces are moving into full swing.

Then it's up to the player to follow through, which is a conversation for a day that may or may not arrive.

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