I’VE learnt how to pronounce his name. I know how he scores his goals. I could work as the facial recognition guy for the CIA when grainy half arsed photos of him are proffered dubiously forth on social media. I know what his sister’s job is. I know how he has suffered.
He’s called Mkhitaryan. I hear Duran Duran’s ‘No-tor-i-ous’ every time they say his name. It will be his song. Our song.
He belongs in Liverpool. The city will drown him in its love. Luis’s and Fernandos will come and go. The tribe are ready for a new hero, in a land jam packed with heroes.
He’s had offers. Good ones. From the Ruhr to the Lane. They sit prettier than us, those guys. Our beauty is forever though. So fuck ‘em.
Ok, let’s get serious then. Why is this transfer taking so very very long? Shakhtar Donetsk, his keepers, they say, they grudgingly admit, that he has a 30 million DOLLAR release clause. That’s about 19.5 million pounds. They also seem to be saying that if he can find this number in his wallet, then it’s out of their hands. Contractually they have to let him go.
They know he hasn’t got that kind of change. They know he needs a benefactor who has to be clever enough to slip him that amount in a briefcase, in used euros, without the authorities getting wind. Without a tax personage having a sniff. I can’t pretend I know how people get round this one. Some seem to. Liverpool Football club may not be amongst them.
Tellingly, the Shakhtar CEO says that “If we go with the civilized way and sell a player but he severs the contract, we specify a transfer value of €30million (£25million).” Hmmm.
I’m guessing, but I think ‘civilized’ is a euphemism for ‘pay us an extra £5-ish million quid and we’ll make life easier for you / you won’t have to get creative with that accounting’.
The Ukrainians clearly do not want to sell the mighty Mkhitaryan. They have the backing to ensure that they can take the fullest of pisses out of potential suitors. Henrikh, one senses, was tapped by LFC a good while back. Both he and his Italian ‘super-agent’ were probably thrown a deal that seemed generous 6-9 months ago, before the player took his goal scoring stats into stellar territory.
So, words may have been given, romances bought into, and commitments mentally, if not contractually, made. Liverpool’s grip on the player seems, reading between many lines, to be firm. It has roots that are not simply put down by registering an interest in June. Shakhtar’s people will know this and will justifiably have the hump with all concerned.
The end game then – well, hopefully it’s near. Hopefully we’re at the ‘let’s split the difference and call it a flat £22m’ stage. Liverpool’s tight sitting suggests they feel their hand is really quite strong. I could be way out and Borussia Dortmund could be parading the player before this piece gets posted. I don’t think I am though. Bookies will shorten odds on a transfer when fans get silly and start betting on their team to get the man, but they don’t leave them as long as they are on Dortmund (and Tottenham) if they think there’s a real danger of the outcome causing them grief.
Let them be right. Let it be so. We know Mkhitaryan is brilliant. We’ve never seen him play, but what *the fuck* has that ever had to do with getting excited about a transfer. This player is important to Liverpool Football Club. Just how important is a factor of whether or not Luis Suarez stays. If he does, Henrikh Mkhitaryan may just represent that extra 5% we need to break games, to make that difference, to add a dozen more points.
If Suarez goes, Mkhitaryan may be a symbol of life after death, but the club will have to go again and add another potential superstar. The circus will need to reconvene and the strain of another saga be once again foisted on our desperate, star-gazing, souls.