Mykhaylo Mudryk to Arsenal: What we know so far as first transfer bid rejected

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal are already working hard on January transfer targets, with Shakhtar Donetsk star Mykhaylo Mudryk their priority signing.

Manager Mikel Arteta has been heavily backed throughout his tenure, and it finally appears to be bearing fruit with the club sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, and he is not ready to rest on his laurels.

A host of Europe’s best sides want the 21-year-old, who has come to the fore in this season’s Champions League, and the Gunners are leading the race.

Here’s what we know so far about the transfer deal...

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Is the deal close?

No, but Arsenal are going all out to wrap it up. The big stumbling block is the fee - more on that shortly - but also Shakhtar’s willingness - or, rather, unwillingness - to sell in January. A first bid has gone in, and been rejected - more information from Standard Sport’s Simon Collings here.

Shakhtar are aiming to win the Ukrainian top flight, which would secure qualification to the Champions League, so selling a star player - maybe the star player - would obviously affect their chances of doing that. In an ideal world for Shakhtar, Mudryk would stay until the end of the season and then a summer move would be facilitated.

There are plenty of admirers, including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-German, but Mudryk is attracted by the prospect of playing for Arsenal and publicly revealed his admiration for them during a recent interview.

Mudryk joining Arsenal is openly discussed in the Shakhtar dressing room, with the player recently saying: “I think every guy dreams about the Premier League. Arsenal is a very good team with a very good coach. I like the way they play. It would be hard to say no [to Arsenal].”

How much will he cost?

A lot, though not as much as Shakhtar hope.

The winger was reportedly available for £30million in the summer when Arsenal first started looking at him, only for the sporting director Edu to decide against a formal offer. Brentford were interested in signing him back then, and Shakhtar also rejected an offer of £25m from an unnamed Premier League club, believed to be Everton.

Less than four months on and Mudryk is commanding a fee of £85m, though Standard Sport understands Shakhtar are unlikely to hold out for quite that much but could still force Arsenal into a club-record fee, which is remarkably the £72m paid for Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal’s opening off worth up to £55m has been rejected.

Shakhtar director Darijo Srna recently told CBS Sports. "First of all, [interested clubs] must respect our club and they must respect our president. And, if somebody wants to buy Mudryk, they must spend a lot, a lot, a lot of money."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Other Arsenal targets

Mudryk is Arteta's priority for a new winger in January, though there remains interest in Wolves' Pedro Neto.

With Marquinhos potentially leaving the club on loan next month, there could be room for two new wingers in the squad. Facundo Torres at Orlando City is another of interest.

Memphis Depay has six months left on his contract at Barcelona and can leave for a reported £1.5m next month, while Lille’s Jonathan David and Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix have previously been scouted with the latter available on loan.