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Yevhen Konoplyanka Interest Confirmed by Tottenham as Liverpool Reports Fade

Dnipro's Yevhen Konoplyanka reacts during an Europa League Group E soccer match against Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press
Nick AkermanFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2016

Tim Sherwood has confirmed his interest in signing Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro, but concedes there is "nothing definitive" about the potential deal.

Konoplyanka continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League after another impressive season in Ukraine.

Sherwood suggests he needs to carefully inspect a number of potential targets before committing, as reported by Sky Sports:

Konoplyanka is certainly one who's being talked about, but nothing definitive. 

I think we have to make sure we see a lot more of these guys before they come in, not just the highlights, because we've got to make sure we do our recruitment job on them."

Sherwood also allayed fears he doesn't have the final say on potential signings, in light of reports previous boss Andre Villas-Boas "did not approve four of Tottenham's seven summer signings," per Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail.

Sherwood confirmed he is in control, per Sky Sports' article: "I will sign the players, absolutely. Nobody else will come in here unless I sanction it. You can't work any other way."

David Hytner of The Guardian believes Sherwood is the type of man who can forcefully get what he wants, saying, "The pressure [of managing Tottenham] is relentless; the experience utterly draining. Sherwood, though, is not a man who will be nagged by regret."

Dnipro president Ihor Kolomoyskyi confirmed he has spoken to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy about the potential transfer, as Konoplyanka now looks set to miss out on a move to Liverpool, reported by Ukrainian television station 2+2, via Peter O'Rourke of Sky Sports:

I have contact with the Tottenham president. I am talking with him. 

He is interested in Konoplyanka. We are in the stage of negotiations and are perhaps close to signing a contract if Yehven agrees.

[...] 

I believe London life is preferable to Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers looked to have snapped Konoplyanka up during the January transfer window, per ESPN, but the deal fatally stalled as the market came to a close.

Although Konoplyanka "regrets" what happened, Kolomoyskyi said Liverpool "failed themselves" after "technical reasons" saw the transfer scrapped, noted in O'Rourke's report.

This now leaves the door open for Sherwood, who got a good look at Konoplyanka during Spurs' recent two-legged Europa League tie with Dnipro. The versatile winger netted the only goal of the opening game with a penalty in Ukraine, and he hit the woodwork at White Hart Lane but was unable to see Dnipro through to the next round.

He has performed impressively on English soil before, scoring a wonderful goal against the national team during November 2012's 1-1 draw at Wembley.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MARCH 19: The Tottenham Hotspur Manager Tim Sherwood looks on during a training session ahead of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 match second leg against Benfica at Estadio da Luz on March 19, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by S
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Konoplyanka has made 15 appearances across the Ukrainian Premier League and Europa League this season, scoring nine times and providing two assists, per WhoScored.com.

He is certainly a Spurs-styled player—naturally suited to attacking from the left but capable of playing across the midfield—and would provide Sherwood with proven quality in a number of roles.

A poor run of results has seen Louis van Gaal linked to the Spurs job, reported by James Dickenson of the Express, signaling that Sherwood faces a key summer if he remains in charge. Signings such as Konoplyanka will define Spurs' effectiveness heading into next season.

The likes of Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue have struggled to settle since joining the North London club last summer.

While AVB may have had little say in their acquisition, he took the blame for their performances.

Sherwood must make sure he doesn't do the same and should only sign Konoplyanka if he believes the player is up to the task of helping Spurs land Champions League football.

 

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