There is growing optimism that Arsenal will agree a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhailo Mudryk, while the Gunners are also in talks with Atletico Madrid over the loan of Joao Felix.
Arsenal and Shakhtar are continuing talks over Mudryk’s fee amount and pay structure.
A source has said Sky Sports News that Arsenal are willing to pay a fee closer to Shakhtar’s £85m valuation. No deal has been reached yet, but Arsenal are working hard to find a compromise.
There is a feeling from sources close to the deal that the clubs will “find a solution” as the 21-year-old wants the move and personal terms to be non-issues.
Sky Sports News reported last week that Shakhtar consider Mudryk, who has played just eight times for his country and has yet to score a goal in international football, as one of the top five wingers in the world.
Shakhtar believe he is better than Antony at Manchester United, who cost Ajax £86m in the summer, and are using him as a reference in negotiations.
Last week, Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin confirmed that the club had received offers for Mudryk, including from Arsenal, but that they were “not the ones we would like to see” to close a deal.
Chelsea also eyed Mudryk but did not make a formal offer for the Ukrainian, who watched Arsenal’s match against West Ham on Boxing Day on TV and posted a photo on Instagram.
Arsenal in Felix loan negotiations
Arsenal is also in talks with Atlético about the loan of Félix.
The Spanish club are believed to want around £19m on a six-month loan deal which would include wages, but Arsenal feel this is too much and will only look for a move if the figures are correct.
A loan swap for the 23-year-old, who has a contract at Atleti until the summer of 2026, works for both clubs.
Diego Simeone’s side are interested in maintaining their market value for a possible sale in the summer, while Arsenal seek cover for the injured Gabriel Jesus, who is expected to return later this season.
Félix, who joined Atlético for £113m in July 2019, has scored five goals in all competitions for the club this season, while netting one in last year’s World Cup with Portugal.
At the start of last season, he was an unknown outside Ukraine with a transfer value of less than £1m. He is now one of the most coveted young players in Europe. After an explosive rise, Mykhailo Mudryk seems destined for great things.
Darijo Srna, Shakhtar Donetsk’s director of football, described the 21-year-old, who displayed his exciting speed and one-on-one skill in the Champions League group stage, as “the best player in Europe in his position” after Kylian Mbappé and Vinicius Junior.
There may be a touch of exaggeration in that statement, but Srna isn’t the only one who holds Mudryk in high regard. The list of suitors for him is long and Premier League leaders Arsenal sit at the top.