Soccer

Chelsea given Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer hope ahead of Man City game

Graham Potter reviews Nottingham Forest draw

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Chelsea may believe they have a chance of hijacking Arsenal’s Mykhaylo Mudryk transfer with Shakhtar Donetsk chiefs set to attend the Blues’ crunch clash with Manchester City, according to reports. The Gunners appeared to be favourites to secure a move for the £85million-rated Ukraine starlet but their deal is being threatened by Premier League rivals Chelsea. 

Mudryk is one of the most in-demand players in Europe due to his fine form for Shakhtar in the Ukrainian Premier League and in the Champions League. And Arsenal have been trying their best to woo the 21-year-old. 

For his part, Mudryk appears to have his eyes set on a move to the Emirates Stadium. The winger has made several hints at wanting a switch on his social media channels. 

Chelsea apparently believe they could gazump Arsenal’s attempts to sign the player, though, and are set for discussions over a possible deal this week. Express Sport understands that the Ukrainian side are encouraging an auction and will hold talks with the Blues’ hierarchy in London. 

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Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano adds that Shakhtar director Dario Srna will be at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s top-flight meeting with City on Thursday. Arsenal will therefore be concerned that their London rivals will hijack their long-sought move for Mudryk. 

Shakhtar are understood to want around £85m for their prized asset. Club officials have said that they do want to receive a fee not far off the £100m that saw Jack Grealish depart Aston Villa for Man City in the summer of 2021, believing there not to be a huge difference in quality between the two stars. 

However, interested clubs are apparently unsure on paying such a monstrous figure for Mudryk. Chelsea and Arsenal will hope they can negotiate down the fee for Ukraine’s best prospect.

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It comes amid reports that the Blues are attempting to agree a structured deal with Benfica for star midfielder Enzo Fernandez. The west Londoners, who need reinforcements after a poor start to the Premier League season, do not want to pay the World Cup ace’s full £105m release clause in one go. 

Instead, they will offer to make a bid slightly higher than the release clause but one that is structured at around £37m every 12 months for three years. A record £280m summer outlay leaves the Blues risking breaching Financial Fair Play in the current period. 

Meanwhile, Arsenal are doubling down on their shock Premier League title charge by backing Mikel Arteta in January. The Spaniard wants a new forward and midfielder, especially after losing Gabriel Jesus to a mid-term injury. 

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