We can’t sell Mudryk to Arsenal because of Antony — Shakhter


By Habeeb Kuranga 

The lavish spending of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals in recent transfer markets has been somewhat of a stumbling block for the Gunners in sealing the deal for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mykhailo Mudryk.

The North London-based club failed with an opening bid of £55million for the 21-year-old, according to Sky Sports news yesterday, as the search for a forward who can fill in the role of injured striker Gabriel Jesus continues.

Mudryk has been sensational for Shaktar Donetsk this season with 10 goals and provided 8 assists in 24 club games. It now seems Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is very keen to add him to his squad in order to further mount their charge towards winning their first English Premier League title since the 2003/04 season when the Gunners became the ‘invincibles’.

However, Arsenal will have to match the price tag placed on Mudryk by his club, which is to the tune of £85 million, after seeing their first offer rebuffed by the Ukrainian outfit.

While speaking to Calciomercato, Shaktar deputy sporting director Carlo Nicolini discussed the growing interest in the youngster and drew comparisons to the transfers of Jack Grealish and Antony to Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively.

Nicolini said: “As we’ve always said, to deal with Mudryk, you need to make an important offer.

“Arsenal may have made such an offer, but there is a negotiation. Players have been sold that clubs wanted to sell and that we believe are no stronger than Mudryk with a valuation of around €100million (£88m), so the €60m (£53m) is not enough.

“I’m not the one making the figure, I don’t have particular indications from the company, but the sporting director said that we need an important offer closer to Grealish than to Antony. If the cash figure is €40m (£35m), then it’s not even being taken into consideration.”

Recall, in the summer transfer window, Man United spent a whooping £81 million on Antony, which could rise to £86 million from Ajax. While the Cityzens lured Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a £100million deal 18 months ago.

Looking at the situation of things, it is looking unlikely Arsenal will fork out funds to the tune of the amount the Shakhtar chief mentioned, considering the amount of money the Gunners spent on the transfers of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira and Marquinos all together in the summer window. But this is a transfer Arsenal FC should be looking at if they are to charge towards lifting the EPL title this season. Although Mikel Arteta could persist with Eddie Nketiah as his starting centre forward, or he and sporting director Edu Gasper could target cheaper alternatives.


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