Tottenham are ready to compete with Liverpool for AWOL Shakhtar Donetsk star Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Daily Star says Brendan Rodgers was intent on opening the cheque book to splash £25m on the Armenia midfielder.

But Spurs appear intent on stealing a march and have joined the race to sign the 24-year-old.

Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu snapped: "I can understand the urge to leave if he has a chance to go to a club that surpasses Shakhtar, like Barcelona or Real Madrid, but not many clubs are beyond our level - not clubs like Liverpool or Tottenham."