Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk)
POSSIBLE DESTINATION? Liverpool, Chelsea
WHY? A late developer, the 26-year-old Brazilian has scored 22 goals in 15 league games and four in 10 Champions League games for Ukrainian side Shakhtar this season, attracting attention from major clubs elsewhere in Europe.
Liverpool have scored just 30 goals in 23 Premier League games this season and with Daniel Sturridge more or less a permanent spectator and doubts about whether £32.5m summer signing Christian Benteke fits manager Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity pressing style, their situation has become urgent.
LIKELY COST? Shakhtar say Teixeira has a £53.2m buyout clause in his contract – higher than an original £38m valuation. Liverpool have so far only offered £24m with £3m in add-ons according to Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin – hence no deal so far.
WHERE WILL HE FIT IN? Teixeira will fit the Klopp template, mobile and busy as part of an attacking spearhead with the likes of fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino. Would be a big statement of intent and he would have responsibility for solving the goalscoring gap caused by injuries to the likes of Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings.
WILL IT HAPPEN? Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre flew to Shakhtar’s winter training camp in Florida to open negotiations and more hard talking needs to be done.
Teixeira is desperate for the move to go through and join compatriots Philippe Coutinho, Lucas and Firmino in Liverpool’s senior ranks, saying: “I want to be there but that is up to the club president now. I can only hope. I’ve played with Coutinho since we were 10 and it would be a lot of fun to play with him again.”
Whether he gets his wish depends on Liverpool increasing their offer and Shakhtar meeting them somewhere in the middle – but time is against this one.