Liverpool are on the cusp of signing Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, but they will need to work quickly if the Ukrainian star is to agree a contract by the time the transfer window closes on Jan. 31.
Updates from Friday, Jan. 31
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo provides an update from Brendan Rodgers, who appears cautious ahead of Konoplyanka's proposed move:
Rodgers: "there is no update. He is an interesting player. We will see how it evolves. It's complicated."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) January 31, 2014
Rodgers: "January is a very difficult market. I'm happy with the group I've got."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) January 31, 2014
Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports claims the player has now agreed terms with Liverpool:
James Lippett, the player's agent, admits he has spoken to another English club but says Konoplyanka is likely to join the Anfield team, as reported by ESPN:
I had a long and productive conversation with the chairman of another English club.
The chances of Yevhen moving to England soon are very high. His club might be Liverpool or another English club.
Will Yevhen Konoplyanka make an instant impact at Liverpool?
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports Tottenham "dropped" out of contention for the player. Liverpool needed to provide Konoplyanka with a £100,000-per-week contract in order to sign, and now only the transfer fee remains as a stumbling block.
Konoplyanka's transfer would provide a joyous end to a frustrating transfer window for the Reds. Rodgers was irritated after failing to sign Mohamed Salah, who appeared to be Liverpool-bound until Chelsea snuck in at the last minute, per ESPN.
Rodgers confirmed he is hunting a "major signing" before the winter market closes, per Sky Sports. Konoplyanka is the man in question, but both Rodgers and Liverpool fans will be anxious until the paperwork is confirmed.
Konoplyanka will provide the Merseyside club with added quality across midfield. He is comfortable on either wing and in the centre, much like Salah, suggesting Rodgers is aiming to bring a versatile player into the setup.
The prospective signing is a tricky dribbler, brings his teammates into play with a variety of passing, and he isn't afraid of slamming home a long shot—as England found out during the 1-1 draw with Ukraine on Sep. 11, 2012.
Dnipro will be losing a player who has scored three goals and provided two assists in this year's Europa League competition, per WhoScored. At 24 years old, Konoplyanka is ready to step up and highlight his talents away from the Ukrainian league.
David Anderson of the Mirror suggests the local media also believe he will move to Liverpool:
A media source in Ukraine claims Yevhen Konoplyanka's £16m move to Liverpool is "ready to be completed".— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) January 31, 2014
Konoplyanka is undoubtedly a player of real quality. He will bring boundless energy to Rodgers' lineup and also take a smidgen of pressure off younger players such as Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, an extremely important occurrence at this stage in the season.