Arsenal target teased over Gunners move with teammates joking club-record transfer is ‘already done’

Mykhaylo Mudryk of Shakhtar seen in action during the UEFA Champions League Group Stage match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic FC at Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium Credit: Alamy
Mykhaylo Mudryk of Shakhtar seen in action during the UEFA Champions League Group Stage match between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Celtic FC at Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium Credit: Alamy

Arsenal’s interest in signing Mykhaylo Mudryk is a growing source of amusement to the winger’s Shakhtar Donestk teammates with one player for the Ukrainian side dropping a telling admission.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has his side flying high at the top of the Premier League table. Currently sitting two points clear of Manchester City, Arsenal have won 10 of their 12 games played so far. Next up in the league, is a testing encounter with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

A win in that game would seriously strengthen their title credentials, in a fixture that Arsenal, typically, find difficult. Even so, Arteta and Co know they need more strength in depth if they are to last the distance this season.

To that end, reports are indicating they are looking to make two January signings and within a £50m budget. As such, Arsenal are reportedly in talks with Orlando City over a deal for a prolific Uruguayan winger.

Indeed, the capture of a new wideman is very much in Arteta’s thinking. The club allowed Nicolas Pepe to depart on a season’s loan to Nice over the summer. And adding more options to their wings is one of the Gunners’ main objectives.

As such, they have been closely following the progress of Mudryk.

His performances saw Arsenal make an approach to Shakhtar over the summer, though their efforts were batted off.

And while the winger has since been watched on numerous occasions, his club are now warning it will take a huge fee to lure him away. Indeed, the Gunners seem to have a big problem on their hands thanks to Manchester United’s capture of Antony.

Mudryk teammates enjoy teasing star over Arsenal

But with five goal contributions in five Champions League games this season, it’s easy to see why the player is a man in demand.

With Arsenal’s interest well documented, Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin has revealed his side are constantly teasing him over the links.

Indeed, they are constantly telling Mudryk he is ‘already at Arsenal’ in anticipation of a big-money move to Emirates.

Trubin told football24: “I like that he is focused only on himself, his and the team’s game. Fans don’t really see that much. No one sees what he is doing away from the football field.

“All these transfer rumours affect him only in a positive way, because he enjoys what he does. And, in the team, we can tell him; ‘well, you’re already at Arsenal, let’s all go!’”

Huge fee required

If the Gunners are to snap up Mudryk, though, it could cost them a new club-record fee.

And the club’s deputy sporting director Carlo Nicolini claims Arsenal will have to dig deep to convince them to sell.

Nicolini said: “Together with Kylian Mbappe, Rafa Leao and Vinicius Jr, Mudryk is the strongest player in his role. Is £35m enough to buy him? We don’t speak for these figures, not even for £45m, we don’t even call the president to make the offer.

“We value Mudryk more than United’s Antony – £85m. Floating between Arsenal and Man City? They are two teams that have taken an interest in the player.

“But there are also other clubs that can spend right away. We are not obliged to sell, we do not want to lose phenomena. We don’t want to shoot figures that aren’t realistic.

“But in this team, he is the most decisive. If you want to take on certain players who make a difference in the top clubs, you also need the right money.”

With Bukayo Saka coming off injured at the weekend, Arteta handed a rare chance to Reiss Nelson off the bench. And the Gunners academy graduate did not disappoint with two goals in a 5-0 win.

His future, though, remains under the spotlight and he is one of two Gunners stars – Mohamed Elneny the other – out of contract next summer.

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