Liverpool should expect Shakhtar Donetsk to play hardball over any deal to sell Alex Teixeira to the Premier League. Former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson says the Ukrainian side will very likely move the goalposts over their valuation of the Brazilian – which is already proving a factor in the deal being delayed.
Sky Sports understand there is a significant chasm between the valuations of Teixeira held by the Anfield club and Shakhtar. The Merseysiders have already had an offer of £25m rejected for the player but last season's Ukraine Premier League runners-up are holding out for a price closer to £35m.
A fee of that size would equal Liverpool's record outlay for a player, set in 2011 when they signed Andy Carroll from Newcastle United for £35m [according to BBC Sport], and would be a significant investment made by Jurgen Klopp in his first transfer window at the club. But as the transfer window draws to a close Lawrenson has heeded caution over the deal and hopes they won't be taken for a ride.
"I can understand why Jurgen Klopp is targeting a talent such as Alex Teixeira in the January transfer window – even if Liverpool's problems are greater at the back than going forward in my eyes," Lawrenson told the Liverpool Echo. "Teixeira is just the kind of forward talent who Klopp feels he can work with and I can see what he's trying to do but not only will he be facing stiff competition with Chelsea, he'll do well to prise a player like that away from Shakhtar Donetsk.
"It's a well-trodden path that these Brazilians go out to Ukraine where they earn good money but then after a while they want to move on to bigger and better things. The owner might say he wants €30m for a player and then you offer him that and he then tells you he's changed his mind and the price is now €40m.
"It's very difficult to get these top players out of there because they keep changing the goalposts," the ex-Liverpool defender added. "They know once you send a delegation out there they've got you in the palms of their hands and they're able to play all kinds of games that will frustrate potential suitors."