Chelsea willing to play Shakhtar in war-torn Donbass as part of £89m deal to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea could play Shakhtar Donetsk in a friendly in Ukraine as part of their £88.5million deal sign Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov has also confirmed £20m of the transfer fee for Mudryk will go Ukrainian soldiers fighting against Russia’s invasion.

Chelsea confirmed the signing of Mudryk on Sunday after hijacking Arsenal’s move for the 22-year-old Ukraine winger. He appeared at Stamford Bridge during half-time of their game against Crystal Palace, draped in his country’s flag.

As part of the deal worth an initial £62m, Chelsea could play a friendly in “a Ukrainian Donetsk” after the war.

Shakhtar are currently unable to play at their 50,000-capacity Donbass Arena in Donetsk due to the conflict in the region.

In a statement, Shakhtar president Akhmetov said: “I have never made it a secret that my dream is to win European trophies. This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, to our Ukrainian championship, and we should win European trophies with such players, rather than root for them, even when they play in the world’s top clubs.

“Unfortunately, it is impossible now, as Ukraine is fighting the horrendous and unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation. But I am confident that we will win. And we will play a friendly against Chelsea at Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk.

“We have to do everything we can to bring this day closer.”

Akhmetov added: “I have decided to launch the Heart of Azovstal, a project designed to help Mariupol defenders and the families of fallen soldiers.

“Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in modern history. It is them, their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the first months of the war and let all of us feel the inevitability of the Victory of Ukraine now.

“I am allocating $25 million (UAH 1 billion) today to help our soldiers, defenders, and their families. The money will be used to cover different needs — from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests.

“To ensure transparency, the project will have a professional independent team that will be in touch with the Azovstal defenders, their families, care providers, and volunteers.”

The idea has been described as ‘aspirational’ to Standard Sport at this stage with obvious barriers to setting up the match.