Despite the collapse of the transfer on deadline day last week, Yevhen Konoplyanka has been assured he will move to Liverpool in the summer.
After missing out on Mohamed Salah, who left FC Basle for Chelsea last month, Brendan Rodgers had set his sights on adding the Dnipro winger to his squad as they push for a top-four finish in the Premier League. And with managing director Ian Ayre in Ukraine to tie up the transfer 48 hours before the 11pm deadline on Friday, it looked as though a deal worth around £16million would go ahead.
But in the dying moments of the window, it emerged that the move was off due to the two clubs failing to reach an agreement on how the fee would be paid. Not only was this a blow for the Reds, who failed to sign a single player in January, but also to Konoplyanka, who had set his heart on a move to the Anfield giants.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for all parties, after Dnipro executive director Andriy Rusol revealed that a deal for the 23-year-0ld is likely to be resurrected when the summer window reopens. Indeed, if Liverpool are still interested, then he is absolutely convinced the transfer will happen.
“I am a thousand per cent sure that Liverpool will try again in the summer and then we’ll let him go,” Rusol said. “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.”
That Dnipro felt there wasn’t enough time to conclude a deal may be considered stranger, as Ayre was in the country for at least 48 hours. Whether that is a failure on behalf of the Reds MD, or maybe it was simply reluctance from the Ukraine club, it may never be known, but it will be interesting to see how this develops.
In the meantime, Rodgers must try and clinch that top-four place with the players he currently has at his disposal. The Merseyside club are currently in pole position, two points clear of neighbours Everton and a further one ahead of Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham Hotspur. However, although only 14 games remain, they will also be wary of rivals Manchester United who are seven points adrift.