Tottenham Hotspur to hijack Henrik Mkhitaryan deal

Michael Steele

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan has been the target of a lot of transfer speculation, but now Sky Italia are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur could swoop in at the last minute and sign the Armenian midfielder.

Everyone's favorite rumor-monger, Tancredi Palmeri, has passed along the info that Sky Italia are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur are set to jump in and take Henrik Mkhitaryan away from Premier League rivals Liverpool.

The "Raiola" that Palmeri is refering to is Mino Raiola, an Italian football agent who represents a number of world class players. Mkhitaryan is an attacking midfielder who currently plies his trade for Shakhtar Donetsk. The Armenian international is a goal-scoring #10 who tallied 26 goals for Shakhtar.

Mkhitaryan is pretty much the prototype behind the striker midfielder. From his position in the whole Mkhitaryan can create space and opportunities for his teammates or for himself. He is effective both as a passer and a dribbler and is very strong on the ball. Some have compared him to Frank Lampard in terms of his ability to shoot from distance, score goals, and in his style of arriving late in the opponents box. To me, the best way to describe Mkhitaryan is to tell you to imagine Mousa Dembele, but with a better shot and better passing.

Mkhitaryan has been mostly linked with a move either Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund. Of the two, Dortmund, who can offer Champions League football, seems to make the most sense. The price for Mkhitaryan is believed to be around £25 million and, again, Dortmund seem more likely/able to pay that fee. So, given the teams and the price this rumor doesn't seem to make sense, but the main problem has to do with tactics. If Tottenham's pursuit of Brazilian Paulinho is for real, then it's hard to imagine how Tottenham can accomodate both Mkhitaryan and Paulinho and Mousa Dembele and Sandro.

I don't know if there's any truth to this rumor. Sky Italia are pretty unreliable. I have mixed feelings on Palmeri, but in this case he's just passing along someone else's report so it doesn't matter much. The thing is, Mino Raiola represents a number of other players that Spurs (and Baldini) could be interested in, if in fact the two sides are talking. Raiola's clients include: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli, Etienne Capoue, Blaise Matuidi, and Gregory van der Wiel.

So, who knows what's going on. I'd love to have a lot of the players that Raiola represents. If Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Mkhitaryan and the price is near the rumored £25 million, I'd be pretty happy with that deal. It's not often that you can secure a midfielder who scores 20 goals a season. A midfield of Sandro, Dembele/Paulinho, and Mkhitaryan would, in my mind, be the best in the Premier League.

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