Liverpool Transfer News: Juan Iturbe a Superior Option to Yevhen Konoplyanka

Dan Brett@@DanBrett90Contributor IIIMarch 15, 2014

Verona's Juan Manuel Iturbe celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Udinese and Verona at the Friuli Stadium in Udine, Italy, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Paolo Giovannini)
Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

Liverpool will have free reign to sign Dnipro's Yevhen Konoplyanka in the summer, but they should look to snap up Porto's Juan Iturbe instead.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian was chased by Brendan Rodgers' side in the January transfer window in a £16 million move, per Metro's Jamie Sanderson.

However, the move failed to materialise as the deadline passed and now the Ukrainian side are anticipating a return offer from Liverpool in the summer.

Dnipro executive director Andriy Rusol recently spoke with the Express' Ben Jefferson, stating his belief that the club would be happy to open negotiations with the Reds for Konoplyanka's services after a failed bid in January:

I am a thousand percent sure that Liverpool will try again in the summer and then we'll let him go. Money was not the problem, the problem was that Liverpool came too late.But in the summer everything will be fine. If Liverpool, in the summer, report to us, Yevhen will still go to this club.

However, according to Daily Mail's Simon Jones, Liverpool could be challenged by Paris Saint-Germain for Konoplyanka's signature, and they have targeted 20-year-old Iturbe as an able replacement.

The Paraguayan—who pledged his allegiance to Argentina, per's Daniel Edwards—is currently on loan at Hellas Verona from the Portuguese side, and he has scored five goals and bagged two assists in 23 league appearances for his current side, per

Iturbe is known for his ability to turn a game on its head using his tricky skill, an abundance of flare and an exhilarating turn of pace as he takes on Italian football's strongest defensive set-ups.

Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

Add to that his low centre of gravity and good close control, the youngster could yet become just one of an array of creative players at Anfield.

Much in the mould of Raheem Sterling, he could add extra depth to the Merseysiders' squad as he would complement Rodgers' attractive, attacking style of football.

Iturbe also has a ferocious left foot, and he has previously used it to good effect from dead-ball situations:

With Konoplyanka occupying a more advanced role on the pitch, used more as a left-sided striker, his arrival would not complement the team in the same way that Iturbe could.

As a forward, he may join the club to push Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge out of first-team action but with 42 league goals between them this season, you'd think signing a creative midfielder may present better value.

Reds' chances of signing Iturbe could come to a halt, though, as tweeted by Goal Italia's Fabrizio Romano:

At such a young age, Iturbe will have plenty of chances to join the Premier League if he opts to stay in Italian football.

However, as such an interesting prospect and with clear attributes that will make him a top player, Rodgers must act quickly before other sides start sniffing around.

With Champions League football on the agenda at Anfield, too, the manager must start to tinker with his squad to one that can maintain major European football at the club for the long-term.

Rodgers must also look to bring players into the club that can help to maintain the Reds' title ambitions, as the side still chase their first Premier League title since the division's inception in 1992.

With players like Iturbe on the manager's radar, though, the future certainly looks bright if they can snap up his services for the long haul.


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