Liverpool have been praised for withdrawing from the race to sign Alex Teixeira after the Brazil forward completed his move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. The Reds pursued the 26-year-old during the January transfer window, but after failing to agree a fee, Teixeira has become the latest player to move to the re-emerging Asian football superpower.
Teixeira has followed the likes of Ramires and Jackson Martinez in securing big-money moves to China, who have plans to make their sporting economy a $850bn (£586bn) industry. The player had previously expressed an interest in moving to Anfield; claiming he was desperate to complete the move.
However, it now appears Liverpool were merely a pawn in attempts to drive up Teixeira's valuation to €50m (£38m, $55m), according to the official Shaktar website, following his swift move to China. Given the details surrounding the move, Mark Lawrenson believes the club have "dodged a bullet" in missing out on the forward.
"As the deadline passed, I wasn't surprised to see Liverpool had done no major business during the January transfer window," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Jurgen Klopp had been saying as much for weeks. Klopp was only keen on bringing somebody in if they would improve the current squad, and clearly there wasn't anybody available. Well, there was in Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira.
"However, the Ukrainian side priced the player out of Liverpool's range and instead he's ended up going to China. That he's gone there tells you everything. You can't blame him for setting himself and his family up for life. But he must have the professional ambition of a gnat.
"He could have waited until June and moved to the Premier League, but clearly all that stuff about wanting to play in England wasn't true. Liverpool may have dodged a bullet."