Arsenal are set to miss out on the transfer of Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Mykhailo Mudryk, with London rivals Chelsea set to swoop for the Ukraine international forward.
After a saga that has stretched since the summer, it appeared that the Gunners would complete a deal for the 22-year-old during the January transfer window.
The Premier League leaders have tabled three bids for Mudryk, yet they failed to meet Shakhtar’s €100 million asking price.
Premier League 2022/23 January transfers: All the Done Deals
Chelsea swooped on Saturday to have a bid accepted by Shakhtar in that region and Mudryk is now expected in London to undergo a medical on Sunday before signing next week.
Shakhtar and Chelsea playing games with Arsenal
Earlier in the day, though, when there was still apparently little prospect of Chelsea making a move, Shakhtar teased Arsenal fans to suggest a deal with the Emirates side could be completed.
“Mudryk?” they tweeted early in the day.
It soon became apparent, though, that Chelsea were in the midst of a hijack, and in retrospect Shakhtar’s tweet makes it look like they were very much aware of the major development that would take place in the transfer saga on Saturday, particularly as it was followed up simply with two eyes.
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) January 14, 2023
MORE: ‘Chelsea a better project than Arsenal’ – Mudryk told to snub Gunners
The news subsequently broke that the Ukrainian club were “very close” – their own words – to agreeing a deal with Chelsea and the Premier League side’s Twitter account responded in kind.
Shortly after Shakhtar had tweeted their statement, Chelsea responded simply with a pair of eyes looking at it.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 14, 2023
Arsenal fans are sure to be furious with the development, particularly after Mudryk has made it clear that his priority throughout the January window has been to sign with them.
Chelsea must now push hard to agree personal terms with the attack, who has scored 10 goals and created eight assists in 18 games this season.
But while Arsenal were previously bullish over their prospects of getting the deal over the line, this latest development shows that it is now Chelsea who are cocky over getting the Mudryk transfer down.