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Uncertainty Reigns Over Henrikh Mkhitaryan Transfer Status

Shakhtar's talented attacking midfielder is the subject of Liverpool interest, but conflicting reports about just how serious their intentions are--and who they're contingent on--leave room for little certainty as to what's going to happen.

Michael Steele

At various points throughout the past few weeks, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has only been a Liverpool target if Luis Suarez leaves, a target no matter who stays or goes, close to signing a deal, subject to interest from other clubs, and a target only if Luis Suarez stays or goes. I'm not sure where that leaves us, but I do know that having blood trickle out of my ears probably isn't a good thing and usually indicates that we're less than two weeks away from the official opening of the summer transfer window.

It was an encouraging weekend as far as Mkhitaryan transfer talk went, with a number of British papers confirming not only concrete interest, but optimism within the club that a deal could be completed in the coming weeks. That was as advanced as news got--though Sky Sports got in on the action in deliciously Mirror-esque fashion by running the same story a day later and just pretending it was breaking--until later, when the club's interest regressed to dependent on Luis Suarez and the clout of other clubs on the continent that can promise challenging for silverware. Some people think that's important, apparently.

Neil Jones from The Liverpool Echo did a live chat today and touched on the Mkhitaryan...thing, and while he didn't provide a ton more clarity, he at least gave some information about where the club may or may not be standing. Maybe.

The info we have is that Mkhitaryan is more likely to be a replacement for Suarez, rather than a supplement. Liverpool see the Armenian is an "ambitious" target, and know that they will face quite a fight to get him. I think a team with both Suarez and Mkhitaryan would be very interesting, but I have doubts whether it will actually happen.

The deal for (him) is likely to take a little bit more negotiating, though Liverpool are confident they can make some progress on that, despite competition from elsewhere.

As discussed last week (and the week before that, and next week I'd guess), it's slightly concerning to see the club reportedly hamstringing themselves in the transfer window by leaving a deal up to the whims of a player who is currently an ocean away, and would belie the reports that we read over the weekend. Remaining bullish on Luis Suarez while fighting for Henrikh Mkhitaryan would indeed be ambitious, and it's exactly the type of approach the club should adopt.

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