Soccer

Shakhtar chief meets ex-Arsenal stars before watching Chelsea game

Mykhailo Mudryk is going to be at the centre of many conversations in London on Thursday night as Shakhtar Donetsk director Darijo Srna met two former Arsenal players before attending Chelsea vs Manchester City.

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Mudryk is being pursued by both Arsenal and Chelsea during the winter transfer window, with the Gunners moving first but seeing a bid rejected by the Ukrainian side.

The Premier League leaders remain favourites to sign the young winger, especially as he has hinted strongly that he fancies a move to the Emirates, but the Blues are prepared to pounce.

Srna, a club legend at Shakhtar is in London with more discussions coming up this week, and he has not given away any clues on Thursday night as he has teased both Arsenal and Chelsea fans.

A picture was shared on social media of Srna at a restaurant with former Arsenal forward Eduardo and Willian, who played for both the Blues and the Gunners.

The trio had all been teammates during their times at Shakhtar, so it was not exactly a business meeting, but it encouraged some tongues to wag.

Srna, who played over 500 times for Shakhtar and won 134 caps for Croatia, was then due to go to Stamford Bridge and watch Chelsea face the Premier League champions.

The interest from both Premier League teams is making a deal more difficult to do as Shakhtar hope it will improve their chances of receiving close to their valuation of Mudryk, which is around £85m.

Arsenal’s initial bid was thought to be worth around £52m but was rejected, and they have gone back with a second offer of about £10m more, which is also expected to be turned down as the Ukrainians hold out for even more cash.

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