Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano has emerged as a January transfer target for Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham with all three clubs stuttering in their bids for Champions League qualification.
It is Arsenal and Liverpool – with the Reds priced at 9/1 to finish in the top-four – who appear the most eager to recruit a new centre forward and, with money an issue for both, the Brazilian is a more fiscally viable option than the other top strikers that might be available.
The Gunners, for instance, are thought to be interested in Man City’s Edin Dzeko, but he would likely cost twice as much as Adriano in both transfer fee and wages.
Whereas Liverpool, who have no striking alternative to Luis Suarez, are keen on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but would face stiff competition for the soon to be free-agent from Europe’s elite and are likely to come off second best in any attempts to sign him; Shakhtar’s chief goal-getter is the more attainable target.
Adriano has the physicality required to spearhead an attack by himself and possesses the dynamic attributes that have appealed to both managers in the past, while the 72 goals he has scored in 172 appearances for the Donetsk-based club suggests he knows where the goal is.
Arsenal have plenty of problems to contend with in their squad and, with Olivier Giroud finally starting to find his feet in English football, buying a new striker should be way down their list of priorities. Plus, they’d have to find someone mad enough to take Marouane Chamakh off their hands before any deal could be completed.
This points to Anfield as the 25-year-old’s most likely destination if Liverpool can stump up the funds for his services. It remains unclear how much he’d cost but, using their £20m+ valuation of Willian as a basis, Adriano will not come cheap.
There is also the issue of a work permit to contend with for all prospective Premier League suitors, as none of Shakhtar’s sought after Brazilians automatically comply with regulations, though it is believed that Adriano would squeeze through an appeal clearing the path for a move to England’s top flight.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date