Liverpool were left embarrassed in the January transfer window after they failed in a bid to sign Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger Yehven Konoplyanka.
The club’s £15 million move looked all set to be accepted and complete before the window ended, but the transfer saga turned into a farce.
The Reds thought they had a deal all set after three days of negotiations in Eastern Europe, reported Chris Bascombe in the Telegraph, before Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk president Ihor Kolomoyskyi decided to scupper the deal and pulled the plug.
However, the deal to sign the talented winger will most likely be revived this summer, according to director Andriy Rusol.
He fully expects Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to make a bid, with the director claiming he is "1000 per cent" sure they will reports Dan Lucas in the Telegraph.
Rusol said (via the Telegraph):
There was no time to organize the technical transfer in the summer. Yevhen’s all ahead now. If he continues to train the same and play the way he plays, it’s just a matter of time before he moves to a good European club. I'm 1000 per cent sure that Liverpool will attempt to buy Yevhen again in the summer. And, after this experience, the dealings will be more organised, and more likely to success. If they had come a little earlier things would have been different.
The winger has been excellent for Dnipro this season, including a series of cameos in the Europa League, as this data from Squawka shows:
The only EPL player to have completed more take-ons in the Europa League this season than Yevhen Konoplyanka (18) is Mousa Dembélé (19).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 31, 2014
The Ukrainian international has scored five goals in 16 appearances in domestic league competition this season and has three goals and three assists in six games in the Europa League, per transfermarkt.co.uk stats.
Liverpool have relied on the brilliance of Luis Suarez—who has scored 23 goals in 19 Premier League games—and striking partner Daniel Sturridge. The signing of Konoplyanka would have eased the burden on the "SAS" partnership as Liverpool try to secure Champions League football.
Rodgers identified Konoplyanka as the latest part of the jigsaw as builds Liverpool again into a competitive side that can mount a challenge on all fronts. He has 35 caps for Ukraine and scored at Wembley in a 1-1 draw against England in September 2012.
And Liverpool will be buoyed by the fact that the winger feels resentment towards not being able to secure his move to Liverpool, writes Sam Lee of goal.com.
Rodgers, who was asked whether he would be going for the player again, told the BBC: "If we feel he can improve us, we are a professional club. There will be a greater market to look at then but it wouldn't stop us."
Rusol's comments will come as a boost to Rodgers as he plans for next season. The manager has been frustrated by numerous Liverpool targets moving to other clubs. Egyptian Mohammed Salah signed for Chelsea, whilst they also lost out on Willian and Erik Lamela, writes the Telegraph's Bascombe.