The Blues have sent out a delegation to try and secure a deal for Mudryk (Picture: Getty)
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The Gunners appeared to be finally closing in on a deal for the Ukraine international after sporting director Edu reportedly jetted out to Poland – where Shakhtar are currently based – to iron out the final details of the deal.
Arsenal were ready to stump up a total package worth £80million and there were even suggestions the deal could be announced on Saturday, particularly after Shakhtar teased an upcoming announcement.
But that turned out to be just a list of friendly fixtures for their warm-weather training camp in Turkey, and then a second announcement – which again got Arsenal fans excited – simply revealed that Mudryk had been named as the club’s Player of the Year.
Arsenal fans were livid to have been strung along by Shakhtar’s Twitter account, inundating them with messages and complaints, but things got even worse late in the afternoon when news of Chelsea’s bid arrived.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the west London club have sent a delegation of officials to Poland looking to blow Arsenal out of the water with a €100m (£88m) offer.
Mudryk is centre of a mammoth transfer tug-of-war (Picture: Getty)
Unlike Arsenal’s bid, Chelsea’s offer would meet Shakhtar’s asking price while they are also prepared to pay a higher percentage up front, with Arsenal’s offer heavily incentivised with add-ons.
Mudryk favours a move to the Emirates and is believed to have already agreed personal terms, but Chelsea’s rival bid has thrown a significant spanner in the works.
To add insult to injury, just minutes about Romano revealed that Chelsea officials were in Poland, the Shakhtar Twitter account wound up Arsenal fans even more by tweeting the ‘eyes’ emoji.
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) January 14, 2023
‘You have no shame,’ tweeted one Arsenal fan at Shakhtar’s message, while another replied with: ‘Why are you behaving like this?’
Shakhtar have always been adamant that Mudryk would only be allowed to leave the club if their valuation was met, with sporting director Darijo Srna previously stating that Antony’s move to Manchester United had set the benchmark for what they expected to receive.
Ajax managed to secure a fee of around £84m for the Brazilian last summer, while there were even suggestions that they were looking to get as much as the £100m Manchester City spent on Jack Grealish 18 months ago.
Srna was spotted at Stamford Bridge recently in the director’s box and Chelsea have held extensive talks with their Shakhtar counterparts, and now seem ready to commit to a deal despite already bringing Joao Felix in on loan.