Shakhtar Donetsk CEO raises serious questions over Arsenal conduct in Mykhaylo Mudryk pursuit

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Credit: Alamy

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin has accused Arsenal of speaking to Mykhaylo Mudryk without the Ukrainian club’s permission before he joined Chelsea in a last-minute twist.

Mudryk put various posts on social media which suggested that the highly-rated winger wanted a move to the Emirates Stadium. But Palkin has now suggested that was not the case.

Chelsea bought Mudryk for a staggering €100million (£87.9m), which means Mikel Arteta will now have to look elsewhere for attacking reinforcements.   

Speaking to Sky Sports NewsShakhtar’s CEO said: “It maybe looked like this [Mudryk wanting to move to Arsenal], but in reality, it wasn’t.

“Arsenal contacted our player almost two months ago.

“That was a long time before they contacted us and in this time, Mikel Arteta called him, the sporting director called him and Oleksandr Zinchenko called him.

“They got inside Mudryk’s head.

“Meanwhile, Chelsea just called me at the end of December and asked if it was possible to contact the player. I said they could and connected them.

“They contacted him and agreed financial conditions with him, his agents and that’s it. Because Arsenal contacted him a long time ago it seemed like Mudryk wanted to go to Arsenal only.”

Arsenal have so far declined to comment on Palkin’s claim that they approached Mudryk before entering into official negotiations with the club.

However, according to Sky Sports News, the Gunners are comfortable with how they conducted themselves in the deal.

Now, Arteta is already eyeing alternative options as he aims to bolster Arsenal’s attack this month.

Palkin labels Arsenal approach impolite

Despite FIFA rules stating that if a club wants to sign a player they must first speak directly with their parent team, rather than the player’s representatives, Palkin admitted the negotiations with Arsenal were eventually conducted professionally.

He added: “I spoke with Arsenal many times about the situation because it is not polite to contact the player before contacting the club.

“But in any case, I am not blaming Arsenal. We negotiated in a professional way.

“Chelsea also did things in a professional way, and they contacted us first.

“They were professional, open and that is welcomed by us. It was a pleasure to do the deal.”

Chelsea’s signing of Mudryk could prove to be a real coup as the Ukrainian attacker is widely considered to be one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe at the moment.

This season, he has already scored 10 goals and made eight assists in 18 appearances, including netting three times in the Champions League.

As well as Arsenal almost signing him, Manchester United and Newcastle had also registered an interest in Mudryk before Todd Boehly and co. blew them all out of the water with Chelsea’s huge offer.

Indeed, the Gunners may go on to massively regret missing out on Mudryk, as he has the potential to set the Premier League alight for years to come.

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