Whether Mykhaylo Mudryk ends up at Arsenal or Chelsea could remarkably be determined by Man Utd, with a trusted source and Shakhtar’s sporting director both shedding new light on the saga.
Arsenal have tabled two bids for the Ukraine winger thus far, with the latter understood to be worth around £62m in total.
Shakhtar are understood to value their prized asset far higher, with the club publicly stating they want to generate around €100m (approx. £88m).
The Gunners are embroiled in a title race and appeared to lack for ideas in their recent 0-0 draw with Newcastle.
Nearest rivals Man City have shown they can string together almighty winning streaks and Arsenal won’t wish to give Pep Guardiola’s side even the slightest inkling they’re vulnerable to being caught.
A move for Mudryk is thus being explored, though Mikel Arteta’s side face stiff competition from Chelsea.
The Blues are seemingly now out of the race to sign Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez after being branded “disrespectful” and pretenders by manager Roger Schmidt. Any money Todd Boehly and co. had earmarked for Fernandez may now be put towards Mudryk.
Now, according to Shakhtar director, Carlo Nicolini, a piece of Man Utd business may inadvertently have had a huge say on where Mudryk winds up.
Antony overpayment makes Arsenal, Chelsea life more difficult
Speaking to CalcioNapoli24, Nicolini referenced United’s £85m (including add-ons) move for Antony last summer when doubling down on the size of fee Shakhtar will command.
Nicolini said: “Given that we have no need for transfers, we said in due time that we evaluate the player stronger than some other profiles, such as Antony. This is the benchmark.
“The problem is that Italian clubs don’t take advantage of opportunities, like Milan with Enzo Fernandez, who is now worth over 100 million.
“When you arrive in time on a player you have to sink the shot, otherwise the prices change.”
David Ornstein was among those to publicly state Man Utd overpaid to sign Antony from Ajax. Paying above the odds is nothing new for the Red Devils, but it now appears doing so for Antony has emboldened Shakhtar to bump the price up for Mudryk.
Of course, that hasn’t ended Arsenal and Chelsea’s hopes of securing a deal, it just makes it far more costly.
On the subject of where Mudryk might end up, CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs provided a comprehensive update, including citing talks due to take place tonight.
Shakhtar officials at Stamford Bridge
Jacobs tweeted Shakhtar officials have touched down in London ahead of Chelsea’s league clash with Man City. They’ll be in attendance at Stamford Bridge and Mudryk’s future will be the primary subject discussed.
However, Arsenal are reportedly unconcerned by the prospect of Chelsea hijacking the move. That’s down to several reasons, the first being the player has consistently talked up Arsenal and hinted the Emirates is his preferred destination.
Furthermore, Arsenal have already settled on a ‘top-end valuation’ and if a deal with Shakhtar can’t be made within that range, they’ll simply walk away from the deal. Their upper limit is believed to be €70m-€75m (roughly £62m-£66m).
It’s noted Shakhtar will attempt to use Chelsea’s interest in Mudryk as leverage when meeting with Arsenal reps in the coming days. Further talks with the Gunners have been ‘scheduled’ despite the meeting at Stamford Bridge tonight.
Clearly, Shakhtar are simply angling for the best move they can get and aren’t fussed over who they sell to.
Arsenal’s second bid totalling £62m reportedly did not contain anywhere near enough up front. That may be one way in which the Gunners can make a breakthrough, by guaranteeing Shakhtar will receive more of the fee they’ll ultimately receive straight away.
In any case, Jacobs added a third and ‘improved’ bid will likely arrive during Arsenal’s upcoming talks with Shakhtar.
Where the 22-year-old will end up is as yet unknown. However, Man Utd officials can seemingly crack a wry smile knowing their own overpayment for Antony has made their rivals’ own transfer dealings all the more costly too.
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