On Thursday the German magazine Kicker broke the story that Shakhtar Donetsk have granted their 13-strong Brazilian contingent permission to leave the club this winter at the right price. In light of Shakhtar’s Champions League pairing against Bayern the story was quickly picked up by various German news sources.
Both the Donbass Arena and Shakhtar’s training complex in Donetsk were damaged by the fighting in Donetsk, and despite playing in exile, it is therefore perhaps no surprise that Shakhtar have permitted their Brazilian players to speak to clubs from abroad. But those who think that Shakhtar will oversee a wholesale might have to reconsider.
This season’s Champions League top striker Luiz Adriano for example has been linked with a move to Roma. A move to the Italians could make sense as Roma dropped down from the Champions League to the Europa League after the group stages, which would allow them to use Adriano in European competitions this season.
Part of the ‘Shakhtar Code’ has always been to purchase the best young talented players from South America and the former USSR, and to sell them on with a profit when the time is right (a similar practice perfected by the likes of FC Porto). In that regard Shakhtar have worked together with various player agents and have a well-established scouting network.
In the light of the current crisis and the fact that the club has been running a deficit by playing in Lviv, it is no surprise that Shakhtar are looking to sell one or two of its highly-talented Brazilians with Adriano a likely candidate to move on. But for Bayern fans, who may feel that their passage to the Champions League quarter finals has been made even smoother, take note: a fire sale this is not.
By Manuel Veth –