Chelsea are now ‘hopeful of beating Arsenal’ to the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk, according to reports.
The two London rivals find themselves in a battle for the Ukraine international this month with the transfer window now open for Premier League clubs.
Arsenal were the early frontrunners for Mudryk with the Gunners reportedly presenting their second offer of £62m to Shakhtar this week.
However, Shakhtar are still privately keen to see the overall package reach over £70m with the club publicly claiming Mudryk is worth €100m (£89m).
And now Chelsea have seen their chance to hijack the deal for Mudryk with The Guardian claiming that the Blues are ‘hopeful of beating Arsenal to the signing of’ Mudryk in January.
The newspaper admits that Arsenal ‘remain favourites’ and that Mudryk prefers a move to the Emirates Stadium but Chelsea could be prepared to pay more than the Gunners.
With two Arsenal bids now rejected, Chelsea saw their chance of striking a deal when they ‘met Shakhtar officials in London this week’ and ‘they are ready to push on with a move for the 22-year-old’.
The Guardian say that Chelsea were left ‘with the impression that £60m plus £20m in add-ons would land Mudryk’ this month.
The report adds:
‘Arteta will have to decide whether to maintain his interest in Mudryk if Chelsea have an offer accepted. The reality for Chelsea is that the player would select Arsenal if presented with a choice between the London rivals.’
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also brought us his latest take. He wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Chelsea have confirmed their interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk. Arsenal have also been in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk for more than a month.
“The situation remains the same – Arsenal’s bid wasn’t enough to convince Shakhtar whilst Chelsea are now interested. We will now have to wait and see the next steps. It’s important to remember that Mudryk’s priority is still to join Arsenal, for sure.”
And Jamie Carragher has urged Arsenal to get the “really exciting signing” of “outstanding” Mudryk over the line.
Analysing the Gunners’ form since the World Cup break, Carragher said: “Eddie Nketiah has started this second half of the season really well, hasn’t he?
“I thought losing Gabriel Jesus was going to be a huge blow as I think he’s been outstanding, without scoring the goals.
“It’s probably a little bit like Darwin Nunez at Liverpool, who’s playing really well but could do with a few more goals.‘Nketiah’s form and him getting those goals may just ease Arsenal off in the transfer window.
“They’re after Mykhailo Mudryk, when I’ve seen him play in the Champions League, he’s been left wing and Gabriel Martinelli is there right now, he’s been outstanding. Maybe one of them will go through the middle?
“If they want to compete with Manchester City – and they are doing that right now but I’m talking about in all competitions and for the next few years like Liverpool have done – you need options from the bench. Mikel Arteta knows that better than anyone from his time at Manchester City.
“I think Mudryk would be a really exciting signing from what we’ve seen in the Champions League.”
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