Mykhailo Mudryk has been Arsenal’s top transfer target since last summer, but Chelsea are pulling out all the stops to steal the Shakhtar Donetsk man from under the London rivals’ noses.
Mudryk nearly joined the Gunners in the summer transfer window and spoke publicly about his disappointment after the move collapsed. He has engaged quite prolifically with Arsenal posts on social media since.
But Arsenal have had a €62 million bid for Mudryk rejected recently, and Chelsea are understood to be more willing to match the €100m his current employers are looking for to part ways with the “Ukrainian Neymar”.
READ: Three cheaper alternatives to Mudryk for Arsenal
Darijo Srna, Shakhtar Donetsk director, here at Stamford Bridge as expected for Chelsea-City game. 🇺🇦🇬🇧 #CFC
Arsenal will keep pushing for Mykhaylo Mudryk, player’s preference and total priority — but Shakhtar also met with Chelsea in the last hours.
McPhilimey – The Sun ⤵️📸 pic.twitter.com/aCshzpOkOC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 5, 2023
Shakhtar sporting director Dario Srna was spotted during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, sharing Blues owner Todd Boehly’s personal box.
Srna has been in London discussing terms with both Arsenal and Chelsea, and also had dinner with former Gunners pair Willian and Eduardo.
Chelsea’s defeat leaves them 10th in the Premier League table, 19 points behind leaders Arsenal who remain on course for their first league title since 2004. A move to the Emirates is understood to be Mudryk’s strong preference.
READ: How Chelsea could line up with Mudryk
But Chelsea’s financial muscle could prove key. Shakhtar said recently they wanted a fee “more [Jack] Grealish and less Antony” – meaning they wanted closer to the €118m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for the former than the €95m Ajax received from Manchester United for the latter.
Mudryk tearing up the Champions League 💪 pic.twitter.com/6p6r9fPEAN
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) September 14, 2022
Chelsea look poised to meet their valuation. They recently backpedalled on a deal to bring Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez to Stamford Bridge from Benfica for his €120m release fee, saving some of that budget for Mudryk instead.
Mudryk has 10 goals and eight assists in 18 games for Shakhtar this season, with his five goal-involvements from six Champions League games catching the eye in particular.