Liverpool’s major summer target the £23 million rated Henrikh Mkhitaryan is AWOL as his Ukrainian club meet in Austria for pre-season training. It could be the a sign of defiance by the Armenian international who is fed up with the delay in his move to Merseyside due to the fact his current club Shakhtar Donetsk do not own all his rights.

Everything was in place last week for him to fly into Liverpool for a medical before this problem came up.

Shakhtar boss Sergei Palkin is not impressed by the antics of Mkhitaryan warning that he will be punished if he does not show up.

“Mkhitaryan did not come to the training session on Monday, but he had to,” said Palkin. “We do not know why.

“If he does not join the team in the coming days he will be fined.

“Concerning Mkhitaryan’s behaviour, I know that he does not have any problems with his team-mates and coaches and we have not heard from him about his intention to leave Shakhtar.

“All the questions about Mkhitaryan’s behaviour should be addressed to him.”

Even though the 24-year-old has let it be known of his desire to move to the Premiership Palkin does not think that he has gone behind his current clubs back.

“I am certain that the negotiations between them is just rumour,” he said.

“No offer for Mkhitaryan has been made at Shakhtar.”

The Ukrainian Champions are under no financial pressure to sell their best players with the club having plenty of cash on hand thanks to billionaire owner Rinat Akhmetov.

Palkin claims that the club have had no contact with Liverpool which I find hard to believe, yet he says they are open to offers on their talented midfielder as you can see in the video below.

“As you know, there have been too many different conversations about Henrikh Mkhitaryan,” he said.

“But the situation has been strongly and artificially inflated. I can say that we have had no communication from any member of Liverpool.

“Henrikh is an important player in our team. Shakhtar want to keep him, but we are willing to listen and consider all proposals for his transfer.

“We have already parted with Willian and Fernandinho, but the club will not just sell players.

“Soon we will also strengthen ourselves with quality players, designed to replace those who have left.”