Prominent journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed how Arsenal could have completed a deal for transfer target Mykhaylo Mudryk in the summer – but decided to pull out of talks.
Arsenal have had a magnificent start to the Premier League season, and will top the table on Christmas Day should they beat Wolves on Saturday evening.
Mikel Arteta’s side have scored 31 goals in 13 games – only second-placed Man City have scored more – and their 11 goals conceded means they have the joint-best defensive record in the division, alongside third-placed Newcastle.
They have also been able to field consistent choices in a number of positions.
Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have started every Gunners league fixture so far this season, as have defensive trio Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba. Granit Xhaka has also featured in every game from the beginning this term.
Arteta’s side do have options should any of those players be unable to start a game further down the line, but the Gunners are searching for another forward player in the upcoming transfer windows.
Mykhaylo Mudryk in action against Real Madrid (Credit: Alamy)They have long been linked with the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. The 21-year-old has impressed in the Ukrainian Premier League this term, and in European competition.
And last month, Shakhtar’s deputy sporting director, Carlo Nicolini, confirmed to Calciomercato last month that Arsenal had concrete interest in the winger, but claimed it would take more than the €100 million total fee Man United paid to sign Antony.
Now, Romano has revealed that Arsenal could have signed Mudryk earlier this year, and explained why they didn’t pursue the deal.
Fabrizio Romano on Mudryk/Arsenal
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano explained: “They had very confident talks on Mudryk’s side, on the player’s side.
“But then they decided not to proceed with Shakhtar, because they wanted more than €60-65m, I am told.
“So it’s not going to be an easy one. But they are still following the player.”
Should Arsenal be able to sign Mudryk, they will bring a player with plenty of European experience to the Emirates Stadium.
Even though he is only 21, the forward has featured prominently in two Champions League campaigns for Shakhtar, impressing in two matches against Real Madrid this term and scoring twice in the same group stage.
Former Aston Villa and Scotland right-back Alan Hutton, whose national side came up against Mudryk in the World Cup qualifiers earlier this year, told Football Insider that the player as ‘an outstanding talent’.
Arsenal fans will certainly hope that his next step is the Emirates and the Premier League.