Arsenal is closing on an agreement to buy Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk for an eventual fee of up to £80 million. Indicating that their long pursuit of the midfielder is coming to an end. Mikel Arteta’s priority winter aim has been Mudryk. But negotiations with the Ukrainian champions, infamous for driving a hard bargain, have been difficult. They aren’t finished, with the type of add-ons, and payment terms reported as the primary sticking issues. But the parties are getting close to a final fee.
Arsenal is set to sign their man before the transfer window closes. They would pay more than £50 million upfront for the 22-year-old forward, who has become one of Europe’s most sought-after players in the last year. Brentford was eager to smash their transfer record to sign him last summer. But they could not come to a deal, and his performances for Shakhtar in the Champions League over the autumn placed his value well beyond their reach.
Arsenal close to £80m Shakhtar signing Mykhaylo Mudryk
Shakhtar’s attitude has hardened further because they are in a three-way race for Ukraine’s Premier League with Dnipro-1 and Dynamo Kyiv. They are aware of Mudryk’s significance as a player. They can help them reclaim their place at Europe’s lucrative top table. Arsenal’s perseverance is paying off, and Mudryk, who has made no secret of his desire to join the club, would provide strong competition for Arteta’s front line. Chelsea has expressed interest in Mudryk, but the player’s desire to join Arsenal has been an impediment.
On Friday, Arteta remained tight-lipped regarding the possibility of new additions. “There’s some interest in things we’d like to do to strengthen the squad since we’re a little short in certain areas,” he explained. The Premier League leaders will almost definitely not have Mudryk among their ranks for Sunday’s derby against Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal will be hoping to maintain their five-point lead at the summit with a win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Arteta acknowledged his players were “in a different place” after the painful 3-0 setback in April. It had seismic ramifications for both sides’ Champions League ambitions. For the first time since September 4. Arteta should be allowed to name Emile Smith Rowe to a Premier League team. Smith Rowe returned from injury as a substitute in the FA Cup win over Oxford on Monday and reported no problems. Bukayo Saka, who appeared to hobble off during the second half of that encounter, is also eligible for selection.