Manchester United should hijack Liverpool move for £16m star

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During an unpredictable and occasionally downright bizarre January transfer window, there has been frequent talk of transfer hijackings. By this, of course, we mean clubs swooping to sign players that appeared as if they could be heading to a rival.

Chelsea's capture of Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from Swiss champions FC Basel would perhaps be the most obvious example.

Liverpool had looked likely to sign Salah but Jose Mourinho, however, evidently had other ideas and swooped to complete a deal to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

Such an apparent hijacking is sure to have miffed the red half of Merseyside, and I make my apologies here as I am about to advocate another high-profile steal of a Liverpool target - this time versatile Ukraine winger-cum-playmaker Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Earlier today, reports suggested that Liverpool had increased their offer for the 24-year-old to £16 million and were willing to pay the player around £60,000-per-week.

In my opinion, Konoplyanka is exactly the sort of player Manchester United boss David Moyes should be strongly considering at this stage of the transfer window and he is a player that the club have supposedly watched before.

But, with the deadline quickly approaching, time is seriously running out for the completion of any last minute deals.

Now, while Manchester United's capture of former Chelsea star Juan Mata was a fantastic one that Moyes deserves enormous credit for completing, it should not be the only piece of business done by the Red Devils this week.

Konoplyanka, one of the Ukrainian Premier League's biggest names with Juande Ramos-managed FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, while having not yet proved himself in one of Europe's so-called 'bigger leagues' is a very exciting talent whose versatility, technique, speed and ability to play across the frontline makes him an attractive prospect.

Mata's arrival at Old Trafford would seem to signal a probable switch away from the classic Manchester United formation that was once very reliant on traditional wingers, and any variation a 4-2-3-1 setup is likely to favour the Ukraine international given that he is equally capable of occupying any of those three slots behind the lone frontman.

While the trio of Adnan Januzaj, Mata and Wayne Rooney are surely likely to be first-choice in those three roles in the long-term, Moyes' options beyond that star-studded trio - the likes of Nani and Antonio Valencia - are less inspiring and extra quality is clearly needed to make the squad more competitive.

If reports are to be believed, then it appears as if Konoplyanka is keen to seek a move away his current employer. While Liverpool is undoubtedly an appealing destination for the player, whose to say that he wouldn't favour a move to Old Trafford if the opportunity was to present itself?

Time is running out of course, and it could be that a deal of this nature is just not feasible given that fact.

However, if there is a chance that Moyes could hijack that Liverpool bid for Konoplyanka in any way, then he should do it.

I sincerely doubt he would regret it. In the modern age of transfers involving bigger clubs £16 million is not a particularly high price to pay.

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