Liverpool are poised to make a £30m bid for the Brazilian midfielder Willian as the club’s pursuit of a high-profile summer signing goes on.
Willian moved to Anzhi Makhachkala from Shakhtar Donetsk during the last transfer window, also for £30m, having played a key role in helping the Ukrainian club reach the last-16 stage of last season’s Champions League. But having played only 17 times for Anzhi in all competitions since, he has been put up for sale, along with the rest of his team-mates, as part of the Russian club’s attempt to cut costs.
The 25-year-old, who has two caps, is predominately a left-sided player but can play on either flank or in a more advanced attacking position.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, is keen to sign a creative player and is believed to have targeted Willian having been frustrated earlier in the summer when the No1 target Henrikh Mkhitaryan turned down the chance to move from Shakhtar and instead opted to join Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund.
Willian would represent the type of big-statement signing Rodgers is keen to secure before the close of the transfer window having spent around £24m on Kolo Touré, Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto.
The purchase could also help Rodgers in his attempts to persuade Luis Suárez to remain at Liverpool after the Uruguayan publicly stating to the Guardian last week his desire to leave the club. Liverpool’s principal owner, John W Henry, reacted by stating the player would not be allowed to move on but such an outcome remains far from guaranteed.
© Guardian News & Media Limited 2013