Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as favourites to sign Yevhen Konoplyanka, who has been advised to live in the capital rather than the north.
Liverpool were on the verge of signing the Ukraine international during the January transfer window, only for Dnipro to pull the plug with just minutes remaining on deadline day. However, it is widely thought that Brendan Rodgers still fancies signing the winger, and will return with another bid for his signature during the summer.
But it has now transpired that Tottenham are also interested in Konoplyanka, with Daniel Levy already in talks about signing the 24-year-old. And according to the president of the Dnipro-Arena side, the Londoners are in pole position to sign the player, who has been advised to live in the English capital than Merseyside.
“I have contact with the Tottenham president. I am talking with him,” Ihor Kolomoyskyi told a Ukrainian TV channel. “He is interested in Konoplyanka. We are in the stage of negotiations and are close to signing a contract if Yevhen agrees. I would choose Tottenham – London – not Liverpool. I believe London life is preferable to Liverpool.”
It would well be that Kolomoyskyi is merely trying to set up a bidding war between the two Premier League clubs, who are both expected to again spend big when the window reopens. And whilst Spurs can offer Konoplyanka the opportunity to sample London life, the Reds look almost certain to have the carrot of UEFA Champions League football.
A 3-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday leaves the Merseyside club in second position and just four points adrift of Chelsea, who are yet to visit Anfield this season. Tottenham, meanwhile, lost 1-0 at home to rivals Arsenal, meaning they are now seven points behind fourth place Manchester City, who also have three games in hand.
It is largely thought that missing out on the top four would result in Tim Sherwood leaving White Hart Lane during the summer, despite the fact he is under contract for another year. However, fullback Danny Rose has urged Spurs to keep faith with the former midfielder, as he feels the club would benefit from a period of continuity.
“We would like a bit of continuity with the manager,” he said. “As players we know as much as you about what’s going to happen with the manager but you look at the best teams, they do well when they have a manager to work with for a long time. We will have to wait and see what happens but everyone loves Tim and the coaching staff.”
Sherwood replaced the sacked Andre Villas-Boas earlier this season, but the Portuguese coach is back in work at Zenit St Petersburg. The Russian club, who face elimination from the Champions League due to a 4-2 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the last 16 tie, confirmed the appointment of the 36-year-old on Tuesday.