Shakhtar Donetsk say their midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not spoken Liverpool, but were unable to explain why he didn’t report for training with the club on Monday.
The Amenian international, who has been heavily linked to Liverpool this summer, was due to begin pre-season training with the Ukranian Champions at their training camp in Vienna, Austria, however he did not show up.
Reports from Russian media yesterday suggested a £20million deal for Mkhitaryan had been agreed between Liverpool and Doetsk.
But Donetsk General Manager Sergey Palkin said although he was unsure of Mkhitaryan’s whereabouts, he dismissed the reports that he is on the verge of a move to Anfield as purely speculation.
“Mkhitaryan has not appeared for training,” Palkin is quoted on Sky Sports as saying. “We do not know if he will arrive in the near future. He will be fined.
“He has not had any contact with Liverpool. I am confident that reports of negotiations are just rumours. Liverpool have not made an enquiry about the player.
“We have not heard that Mkhitaryan wants to leave. All questions about his behaviour need to be addressed to him.”
Mkhitaryan scored 25 goals in the Ukranian Premier League last season – a new record for their top-flight league. He also produced several dazzling displays in the Champions League, until Donetsk were knocked out by finalists Borussia Dortmund in the second round.
The highly rated attacking midfielder is thought to be part-owned by Doetsk and another ownership group, adding complication to the deal Liverpool are seeking achieve.
Brendan Rodgers is hoping Mkhitaryan will be his fifth signing of the summer, after completing deals for Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and, immienntly, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.