Chelsea confidence over beating Arsenal to Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer grows after Shakhtar Donetsk talks

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chelsea are hopeful of beating Arsenal to the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, after positive talks with the club’s director of football, Darijo Srna.

Srna was a guest at Stamford Bridge during the Blues’ 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on Thursday night.

Arsenal remain favourites to sign the 22-year-old, who has hinted at his desire to play for Mikel Arteta’s side, despite the Gunners seeing two bids worth up to £62million rejected.

They will be fearful that the delay in agreeing a fee has presented Chelsea an opportunity to talk to Shakhtar about their top January target.

The Ukrainians want £88m for Mudryk, but it is understood they are likely to accept less and allow clubs to spread the cost across performance-related add-ons.

Transfer fight: Arsenal and Chelsea are battling to sign Shakhtar star Mykhaylo Mudryk (Getty Images)
Transfer fight: Arsenal and Chelsea are battling to sign Shakhtar star Mykhaylo Mudryk (Getty Images)

Mudryk fits the profile of the type of player that Chelsea’s owners want to build their team around, as he is young, ambitious and has the scope to improve.

Chelsea have the finances and time to chase other targets, after seeing a £112m move for Argentina’s World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernandez stall this week. Benfica accused the Blues of acting disrespectfully and driving their player ‘crazy’ in their approach.

According to reports in Portugal, Benfica have dropped Fernandez for disciplinary reasons ahead of their match against Portimonense on Friday.

Club president Rui Costa is now demanding the full £105m release clause be paid up front after Chelsea tried to pay it in multiple installments or reduce the fee entirely.

Chelsea will, however, have to face the prospect that Fernandez could join a rival next summer with Manchester United and Liverpool both interested.