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United to chase Liverpool target?

FILE-Liverpool-Close-In-On-Deal-For-Ukrainian-Yevhen-KonopliankaHaving finally been named as Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal seems determined to get one over Liverpool as quickly as he possibly can, by entering the race for one of Brendan Rodgers’ main transfer targets – Dnipro’s winger Yevhen Konoplyanka.

The Ukrainian international looked set to move to Anfield this summer for around £10m, even though Dnipro are reportedly unhappy with Liverpool’s attempt to lure one of their prized assets away from Ukraine on the final day of the January transfer window – a move which backfired in spectacular style for Rodgers, as Konoplyanka ended up remaining in Ukraine.

United, however, could be set to make an offer of their own, should Van Gaal confirm to Ed Woodward that he’s interested in the services of the 24-year-old and the Mirror today reports United are mulling over submitting a bid in the region of £12m, which could be enough to convince Dnipro, particularly given the way Liverpool handled the situation in winter.

Convincing Konoplyanka, however, might be a tad more complicated as United won’t be able to offer European football to the Ukrainian, while Liverpool are ensured a place in the Champions League group stages, which is more than Spurs, who had also entered the race for the 24-year-old in winter, could offer.

While not a household name as such, Konoplyanka has been on the radar of a few Premier League clubs for sometime and boasts qualities typical of a traditional winger: he’s quick, direct, accomplished with both feet and, crucially as far as United’s current options in the wingers department are concerned, can find the net and has scored four in seven Europa League games this campaign.

Dnipro have reached the Champions League qualifiers for next season and are likely to try to hang onto their star man, but their director Andriy Stetsenko has admitted it might be hard to keep the player in Ukraine: “Konoplyanka is still available for any club to buy. His contact has a buy-out option worth £12million.”