Shakhtar Donetsk teased Arsenal fans several times on Twitter with deliberately anti-climactic news announcements, with the Premier League side working on a deal for Ukrainian star Mykhailo Mudryk.
Gunners supporters might have thought their side had finally made a breakthrough in negotiations for the young forward after Shakhtar claimed the club had ‘prepared some news’ on Saturday, only to announce their mid-season friendly schedule.
Mikel Arteta was left smiling after questions on Mudryk leading fans to conclude they were close to his arrival, with reports that the club will pay £50million up front with the Ukrainian outfit expected to accept less than the proposed £80m.
Shakhtar Donetsk taunted Arsenal fans on Twitter on Saturday after hinting at ‘news’ to be announced by the Ukrainian side
The Gunners will have woken up with hope of finally completing a deal for the 22-year-old, given Shakhtar’s perhaps deliberately leading tweets.
The Gunners are pursuing a deal for star forward Mykhailo Mudryk
They began with a message claiming a news announcement was imminent, writing: ‘We prepared some news for you today,’ followed by an eye emoji.
That was then followed just over an hour with: ‘Seems like it’s time to reveal the first piece…’
However, rather than the transfer deal Arsenal supporters will have been looking out for, the club sent out their fixture list with the Premier Liga side in Turkey for their mid-season winter break.
The list includes games with Austria Vienna, followed by, Slovenian clubs Koper and Maribor, Ludogorets, Sarajevo and Dinamo Tbilisi over a 20-day period starting on January 10.
But they quickly recaptured the attentions of expected Gunners, tweeting out: ‘There is more interesting stuff coming up. We are ready to share another piece of news as soon as our page reaches 51,000 subscribers.’
Within an hour and 15 minutes the club had reached 52,800 followers, but the news was yet to be released as Shakhtar kept onlookers guessing.
Mikel Arteta could not keep a smile off his face when asked about Mudryk on Friday afternoon
But later, at 12.23pm, Shakhtar tweeted out one more word: ‘Mudryk?’ followed by a confused emoji.
And once again fans from the Premier League side were left disappointed, as the announcement was that the forward had won the club’s Player of the Year award for 2022.
Arsenal’s pursuit of Mudryk has been one of the main transfer sagas of the January window, with Arteta’s side having several bids turned down already as they look to land the star forward.
The Gunners looked to have big competition in the race for the 22-year-old’s signature, with Chelsea thought to be monitoring the situation closely, but they appear to be front-runners now for his services.