Manchester United and Arsenal battle for playmaker dubbed ‘The Ukrainian Messi’


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Manchester United and Arsenal are set to fight it out for the signature of Dnipro playmaker Yevhen Konoplyanka, according to talkSPORT.

England fans will remember Konoplyanka, after he scored a memorable goal against them in a World Cup qualifying tie at Wembley in September 2012.

The 23-year-old has extremely quick feet, has the ability to beat an opposition defender, and can play in any of the supporting striking positions in the much used 4-2-3-1 formation. His close ball control has led journalists and fans to dub him ‘The Ukrainian Messi’. The skilful playmaker has scored 24 goals in 124 appearances for Dnipro since he made his debut for them in 2007.

Dnipro are rumoured to be looking for at least £13m for the player who has come through their academy system. He won the Ukrainian Footballer of the Year award in 2012, and is surely ready to test himself in one of Europe’s elite leagues.

Konoplyanka’s agent, James Lippett, of World in Motion, told talkSPORT: “Yevhen is very highly rated amongst the top teams in England and Germany. The question is simply whether these clubs can meet Dnipro’s valuation and the player’s expectations”.

Arsenal and Man United have been surprisingly quiet so far this summer, but teams have been heavily linked with a whole host of attackers throughout the window. Konoplyanka could represent a cheaper alternative should United fail to sign Thiago, who is now close to a move to Bayern Munich. Arsenal on the other hand, have predominantly focussed their attention on strikers, and have had a bid turned down for Luis Suarez.

You can see Konoplyanka’s wonder-goal, here:

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