Arsenal have been dealt a fresh blow in their pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk star Mykhaylo Mudryk as the club look to complete a deal in January.

The 21-year-old has impressed Gunners chiefs throughout 2022, with Mikel Arteta’s side initially opening talks with the Ukrainian champions over their star talent in the summer.

But prominent journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed the Gunners pulled out of talks due to concerns over the asking price for Mudryk.

However, the Daily Mirror reported in November that Arsenal were able to complete the ‘framework of a deal’, with Shakhtar’s asking price standing at £40 million.

That was at odds to what club director Darijo Srna told The Athletic earlier that month. He stated that Mudryk must command a fee similar to the £82m Manchester United paid to sign Antony from Ajax.

Srna added that Shakhtar wanted to be shown ‘respect’ during negotiations. The Ukrainian transfer record is the £52m move of Fred from Shakhtar to United in 2018.

But despite hopes from Arsenal’s side that they could get a deal for Mudryk done relatively swiftly, it appears those prospects may have changed.

Shakhtar state Mudryk asking price

Speaking to Tuttomercatoweb, Srna was once again asked about Mudryk’s asking price – and he gave a clear answer.

He explained: “Mudryk is a great talent. He has a four-year contract with Shakhtar, but so far we have not had contacts with any club.

“If someone wants him, they will have to pay a lot of money. He is our gift.”

Earlier this week, the current Ukraine international posted a cryptic Instagram story, which showed a bar chart of his progression at Shakhtar, in terms of transfer value.

The second, and most recent, bar on the chart stood at €40m – with Arsenal fans taking that as an indication of how much their club may have to pay to secure the player’s signature.

However, given Srna’s comments, this transfer saga may have a while left to run yet.