Well, according to Artur Petrosyna, who is Editor of Sport Express in Russia, the image to the left is indeed Henrikh Mkhitaryan signing a Liverpool shirt either yesterday or today.
He's officially still a Shakhtar Donetsk player and it's probably not the best idea to be signing shirts of other clubs, especially ones you're rumoured to be on the way to have a medical for. For further proof that it was him signing the shirt and not some random person, Armenian website Football365 (no relation to the English website) have an image of him either just before or afterwards, and we've placed that at the bottom of this article.
It all fits in with reports from several English outlets, including The Mirror, that the player was set to fly to Merseyside for a medical which would take place today.
The 24 year old attacking midfielder has been pushed around Europe for some weeks and it was hard to tell if the Liverpool interest was real or simply an invention of an eager agent.
Just over a week ago in Italy there were reports that the club were prepared to pay his full buy-out clause which stands at an alarming €30m. Their first offer, said to be just €12m, was laughed off by his club but such is Liverpool's desire to get the player, set out as the club's top target by Gazzetta in Italy, that they appear to have gone in much higher.
We said on June 5th:
'Mkhitaryan is 24 and already very highly rated, his contract runs until the summer of 2015 and if Shakhtar keep him for another year that would mean having a valuable player with only one year left on his contract, so if he is going to go then they'll get more money this summer than next, especially if Liverpool go close to the buy-out amount.
His agent is Mino Raiola and there has been suggestions before that interest in the player was being talked up to a higher level than reflected the reality of the situation. He represents players such as Balotelli, Ibrahimovic and Pogba, and all of those have been repeatedly linked with transfers, and have moved, over the last few years.
It's hard to tell how much of this is genuine and how much is just people trying to sell Mkhitaryan, but now that Raiola is involved a transfer is more likely and leaks to the Italian press will be frequent.'
The Italian media had probably got their information from Raiola, who is of course Italian himself, and that's why Gazzetta had the story before others. Liverpool really mean business this transfer window and they seem to have a deal lined up as imminent every day, if they all come off then it will be a huge improvement to the squad.
Even Suarez has stopped talking about leaving for a day, having been warned by the club, and things are looking up. It's a good job Henrikh Mkhitaryan isn't signing for Newcastle United, Joe Kinnear would never get his head around that name.
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