Arsenal will not be influenced by bidding from Chelsea as they face competition for the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk, according to CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.
The Gunners are looking to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window as they look to capitalise on their position in the Premier League table.
Arsenal will never have a better chance to win the title and become a force in English football once again with Mikel Arteta’s side eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who play their game in hand tonight against Chelsea.
Mudryk has become their top target as they look to give their forward line some depth for the run-in and they have already made a bid of “under €70m” with Shakhtar asking for €100m.
Chelsea appear interested too with the Blues already making two signings in the first five days of the transfer window but Jacobs insists that Mudryk wants to join Arsenal over Graham Potter’s side.
Jacobs wrote on Twitter: “Arsenal have more direct talks scheduled with Shakhtar on Mykhaylo Mudryk. And Chelsea are meeting with Shakhtar representatives at Stamford Bridge. Mudryk wants the move to Arsenal.
“Arsenal’s latest bid was under €70m and in Shakhtar’s eyes did not have a big enough guaranteed fee. But there will be verbal back and forth to discuss structure ahead of a likely improved bid. Shakhtar tough negotiators and will use Chelsea interest and/or offer as leverage.
“But Arsenal have never ideally wanted to go above €70-75m. They point to Everton’s failed €30m bid over the summer and argue their offer is already more than double. Shakhtar would have sold Mudryk for €45m five months ago.
“Arsenal are not concerned by a Chelsea hijack. If Chelsea do place a significantly bigger offer, Arsenal won’t get sucked into a bidding war. This is because they have a top-end valuation and, regardless of Chelsea, if they offer it, and still fail, they’ll walk away.
“Arsenal believe Mudryk deal is in their control. Also important to note, Chelsea are not expected to just throw €100m (Shakhtar’s public valuation) down. Any offer (and it will be clear in next few days if one is coming) is likely to be broadly in keeping with Arsenal’s own valuation.
“So what is key, with two suitors, is not jumping to conclusions about any Chelsea move before Arsenal have also engaged further with Shakhtar. This is a very atypical negotiation. Doing a deal with Shakhtar requires local knowledge and intermediaries.
“Chelsea are smart to meet face to face and lay their cards on the table. And it’s within Shakhtar’s interests to be seen at Stamford Bridge. A lot of games taking place. But I am again told Arsenal are simply focused on their deal and their valuation for Mudryk.”
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