Liverpool have made one formal bid for Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Alex Teixeira, offering the Ukrainian club €32M up front plus add-ons for the 26-year-old. There have been rumours of a second, €38M bid, but while the English club appear willing to pay that much for Teixeira, there has not been a formal offer as yet.
This is largely due to the fact Shakhtar have held firm on a €50M valuation. Liverpool have shown signs of being willing to negotiate, but Shakhtar haven’t. Met with a complete unwillingness to deal, Liverpool have informed journalists with ties to the club that they are not hopeful of a deal getting done before the close of the transfer window.
The Liverpool Echo and others are now suggesting that the club believe they have reached an impasse with Shakhtar; that they are no closer to securing the services of Teixeira than they were a week ago. It may be disappointing for many fans to hear—to hear that the club appear ready to give up and walk away—but it’s the right move.
Teixeira is clearly a talent, having scored 26 goals in 26 games this season. Yet he’s spent the bulk of his career in a weaker league. Ukraine are ranked eighth by UEFA, and that ranking will drop in the coming years due to that nation's conflict with Russia and the subsequent exodus of talent, one that has already taken a toll on the league.
In his first four years in Ukraine, Teixeira scored 41 goals at a rate of nearly one every four games. In the last two years, he has scored 48. In part that is due to a move to a more central position and his development as a player, but the role the weakening Ukrainian league may have played in his improved strike rate cannot be ignored completely.
It also cannot be ignored that, for all his clear talent, Teixeira has yet to earn a single Brazil cap. He is a player with a wonderful goal return the past two seasons and a solid one before that, but he is entirely unproven at the highest levels of the game, which makes Shakhtar’s demands of €50M and unwillingness to negotiate a clear problem.
Liverpool’s reaction, then, has been to call Shakhtar’s bluff—or what they believe is a bluff. Chelsea, despite being interested in the autumn, have moved on and signed Alexandre Pato. Liverpool are the only serious suitor Shakhtar have left. Signalling that a €50M asking price is unreasonable, that Liverpool won’t be fleeced, is the right move.
Either Shakhtar are bluffing and, faced with the prospect of Liverpool walking away, will begin to negotiate. Or they're not bluffing and are fully determined to hold on to Teixeira unless someone pays €50M. Either way, Liverpool signalling they've had enough and are willing to walk away is the right and reasonable response to the situation.
Now that Liverpool have done that, it’s up to Shakhtar to decide if they are willing to move from their unreasonable asking price to get a deal done or if they would rather gamble on sitting on an unhappy player for the next six months and seeing if a better offer materialises in the summer despite the current lack of interest in Teixeira at €50M.