With Alex Teixeira looking to leave Shakhtar Donetsk for Liverpool this January, manager Mircea Lucescu has hinted at a possible departure.
Teixeira emerged as a surprise target for the Reds earlier this month, with interest in the Brazilian resulting in a series of bids as Ian Ayre travelled to Shakhtar’s winter training camp in Florida to discuss a possible deal.
The Ukrainian club are thought to have rejected Liverpool’s advances so far, as they look to secure their valuation of around £38 million.
But with the 26-year-old claiming to have told Shakhtar he wishes to leave this January, a deal seems likely.
Speaking to FourFourTwo this week, Lucescu suggested that the club should not hold Teixeira against his wishes.
“Our president knows when it is the time for Teixeira to go,” he said.
“I don’t want to keep a player against his desire. He wants to play in a big championship.”
The Premier League is of significantly higher reputation than the Ukrainian top flight, and Teixeira is thought to be targeting a move to boost his chances of a call-up to the Brazil squad.
A fleet-footed, goalscoring midfielder, Teixeira is yet to make his debut for Dunga’s side, but could follow in the footsteps of Philippe Coutinho in securing a regular role with performances in England.
With Lucescu looking to seal the Ukrainian Premier League title this season however, the 70-year-old indicated that the club could hold on to Teixeira until the summer.
As he continued, Lucescu described Teixeira as a key player, with world-class potential, saying “he’s worth [£38 million].
“He’s incredible, very fast, very good technique,” he explained.
“I compare him with other players of the same age who changed [the fortunes of] a club, [Angel] Di Maria for example at Paris Saint-Germain.
“Teixeira can be at the same level, better even.
“He doesn’t get injured, and every year he gets better and better.”
With just days left before the close of the January transfer window, Liverpool have little time to secure a deal for Teixeira.
But with both player and manager seemingly encouraging the situation, all eyes will now be on Merseyside.