With four deals more or less settled, Liverpool have made good on their early-spring promises to act quickly in the summer months, and by all accounts there's still plenty of work left to be done. A good deal of that work is apparently being invested in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Shakhtar Donetsk and Armenia attacking midfielder who's emerged as a top transfer target over the past month. Liverpool's interest has, at different times, come close to a bid or matching a buyout clause or maybe just not anything at all, but if they're interested in bringing the player to Merseyside, they'll now have some competition, with Shakhtar Chief Executive Sergei Palkin today announcing that Borussia Dortmund have submitted a bid.
Rumors of a Liverpool bid have been denied constantly by Shakhtar, but Palkin was open about both the presence of a bid, its amount, and what it will take for a club to prise the player away:
"Borussia offered 23 million euros (£19.5m) for the midfielder. I contacted Mkhitaryan's agent yesterday. I wrote to him about the official position of the club. We are prepared to sell Mkhitaryan for 30m (£25m); this offer stands for the next 10 days. If Mkhitaryan wishes to leave, they have to pay this amount for him."
What's not clear is if that timeline stands for other clubs; Liverpool were reported to be in for around £20m-£23m, which isn't a great deal off Palkin's valuation, but there's no telling if the club would be willing to make that sort of move in such a short time. Of course, this is all assuming that Dortmund's bid is something that happened in reality, and that Palkin's not continuing to cloud what's already become one of the more complex and unclear transfer dealings over the past few windows.
It's all combined to turn what once seemed an alluring deal into a far more nervy affair, with third-party ownership and conniving agents and international intrigue--sexy as it might be--emerging as the primary players rather than, you know, the actual player.