Chelsea love a transfer hijack these days and are looking to beat Arsenal to the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk, according to reports.
Arsenal are extremely interested in signing the Ukraine international and have already seen a bid to sign him rejected.
Following Antony’s €100million transfer from Ajax to Manchester United last summer, Shakhtar have set the same price tag for Mudryk.
Unsurprisingly, the Gunners are reluctant to pay that and there is an expectation that the Ukrainian champions will eventually lower their asking price.
Mikel Arteta’s side reportedly lodged a €40m + €20m in add-ons offer, but it was quickly turned down.
Arsenal remain optimistic – probably due to the lack of competition.
However, London rivals Chelsea are now said to be eyeing a move for Mudryk, and given their ruthlessness in the transfer market since Todd Boehly bought the club, this could be bad for the Gunners.
The Blues spent around £250m in their first transfer window in the Boehly era, signing the likes of Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana.
And ahead of the January window, they are interested in signing Enzo Fernandez from Benfica and seem to be willing to pay his €120m release clause.
The Guardian claim that Chelsea want Fernandez and have his Argentina teammate Alexis Mac Allister lined up as a potential alternative.
Furthermore, the report adds that they want Mudryk and are hoping to hijack Arsenal’s pursuit.
There is not much said about the 21-year-old in the report, just that Chelsea are ‘interested’ in the player who is attracting ‘significant interest’ from Arsenal.
Chelsea were in full hijack mode during the summer transfer window, trying to sign Gabriel Jesus, who joined Arsenal, and Richarlison, who joined Tottenham.
If you search ‘Chelsea hijack F365′ on Google, you will actually see transfer stories involving Fernandez, Jesus, Richarlison, Cucurella, Jamal Musiala, Frenkie de Jong, Jules Kounde, Raphinha, Antony, and now Mudryk.
Mudryk is definitely Arsenal’s priority signing and will hope to get a deal done soon.
The Gunners are currently top of the Premier League and will be hoping to maintain their title push by acting fast when the transfer window re-opens on Sunday.
Jesus is out until mid-February at the earliest after undergoing knee surgery, so the signing of a new forward seems very necessary.
Mudryk would not be utilised as a striker, but it would add a great amount of depth to Arteta’s frontline, with Gabriel Martinelli able to operate through the middle.
Eddie Nketiah will fill the void left by Jesus and will need to prove why he was handed a new £100,000-a-week contract at the end of last season.
He is a good player, but not as good as Jesus, though he put in a good shift during the Gunners’ 3-1 win over West Ham earlier this week.
Nketiah scored his side’s third of the game after turning Thilo Kehrer like he wasn’t there before smashing the ball past Lukasz Fabianski.
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