Normally, reports that a club’s star attacker was likely on his way out would leave a manager grinding his teeth. For Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu, though, if a deal can be done that satisfies everybody, a move to a bigger league for Alex Teixeira would be something he fully supported.
"He is the technical leader of the team and should also be the leader for Brazil," Lucescu said in November when rumours of Chelsea interest in the 26-year-old first appeared. "If there is an offer that will satisfy both the player and the club, I will fully support his move. I want to see my players perform in the top teams in Europe."
The versatile Teixeira has taken on nearly every attacking role for Shakhtar since arriving there from his homeland in 2010—winger, attacking midfielder, support striker, and false nine—but this season has broken through leading the line. He spent much of the autumn being linked with Chelsea and Juventus.
Shakhtar’s transfer demands have reportedly priced Juventus out of the running, though, and so far Liverpool are the only club who have made a formal offer in line with the €30M-plus valuation the Ukrainian club have put on Teixeira. Chelsea are rumoured to now be considering other options they consider better value.
"This would mean both my assistants and I have not been working in vain for so many years," added Lucescu about a potential big money move by Teixeira to Europe’s richest and most-watched league. "If he was playing in a more competitive league, his transfer would be at the same level as that of Angel di Maria"
After failing to see eye-to-eye with new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, di Maria was sold to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of around £44M. Whether Teixeira truly is of a similar calibre and worth isn’t entirely certain given he’s spent most of his career in Ukraine and has yet to earn even a single senior Brazil cap.
That, though, is where the potential value for a club like Liverpool is—in getting a player in his prime, one who could be worth £40-50M if he had proven his quality against stiffer opposition, for around half the cost. It’s also a gamble, of course, one that might not pan out. But if they can close the deal it’s certainly an exciting one.