Chelsea and Liverpool are on course for a head to head battle to sign Shakhtar Donetsk goal machine Alex Teixeira.
Liverpool MD Ian Ayre has already reached the Ukrainian side’s winter training camp in Florida, after their £25m offer for the highly rated forward rejected.
Chelsea have also been in talks with Shakhtar for long time, and are still hoping to succeed a deal worth closer to £30m, although Liverpool are desperate to challenge the Blues all the way.
However, 26-year-old Teixeira, who has netted 26 goals from 25 matches, picked up a hamstring injury as Ayre jetted over to Florida on emergency basis. Ironically, Liverpool have also been struck by a series of hamstring injuries this term.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp already have some interesting forward plans to strengthen Liverpool’s attacking options over an injury crisis which claimed Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and long-time absentee Daniel Sturridge. Christian Benteke with six, is now happens to be the German tactician’s leading goalscorer in Premier League but left on the bench against Manchester United and Arsenal as Teixeira’s compatriot, Roberto Firmino, featured in attack.
Liverpool is well aware from their past experience that how difficult it is to deal with Ukrainian clubs, having missed an opportunity to sign Yevhen Konoplyanka in 2014 January transfer window. Ian Ayre that time had several face-to-face meetings with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk officials over Konoplyanka, Liverpool even agreed the £16m release clause of the forward and the Ukrainian player also had agreed personal terms to make a move to Anfield only for Dnipro president, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, to refuse to sanction his release at the last moment. In 2013, Liverpool also failed to sign Henrik Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar although the absence of Champions League football at Anfield, was the biggest obstacle to that potential deal.
Apart from Teixeira, Chelsea are going on nicely for a proposed £8.5m swoop for another Brazilian attacker, Alexandre Pato as they are quite relaxed over the improvement of the Teixeira deal, because the player himself keen to join the Blues.
But seeing Liverpool’s recent bid, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy will now accelerate their process to sign a player who, in his five-year spell at Shakhtar so far, has bagged 67 goals in 146 league appearances.
Liverpool’s sudden interest certainly a blow to Chelsea and it comes after the emerging rumours suggesting they could face a tough challenge to keep a hold on unsettled midfielder Nemanja Matic this summer.