Premier League • England

Arteta provides latest Mudryk response after new bid, with Arsenal ‘determined’ to upgrade squad

Mykhaylo Mudryk, Ukraine benefit match - Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Ukrainische Nationalmannschaft 1-2, Stadion Borussia-Park

Mikel Arteta has explained how Arsenal are “determined” to make their squad better when reacting to the latest question about top target, Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Arsenal have been pursuing Mudryk for a number of weeks and have a window of opportunity to sign him in January. They will have to spend big to prise him away from Shakhtar Donetsk, while also facing competition from Chelsea.

But sources have insisted all along that Arsenal are confident they will get their man. And on Thursday night, claims emerged that they have submitted a new bid and are nearing an agreement at long last.

Mudryk himself has reacted by posting a picture of himself in an Arsenal shirt on social media. His preference has always been to join Arteta’s team, rather than any other suitor like Chelsea.

Now, a positive conclusion seems to be in sight. A deal won’t be done in time for him to play in Sunday’s north London derby, but his arrival might not be too far off.

That said, Arsenal manager Arteta has remained coy about the 22-year-old. And when asked for the latest at his Friday press conference, he has maintained his usual tone.

He replied: “You know we cannot talk about any other players.

“There are some interests on things that we’d like to do to improve the team because we’re short in certain areas and with injuries that we picked.

“But we are trying and as a club we are determined to try to improve the team in every window. And that’s what we are trying to do.”

Arteta provides Jesus update amid Mudryk pursuit

As Arteta alluded to, the arrival of Mudryk may account for a current lack of depth in attack. Main striker Gabriel Jesus is on the sidelines with an injury.

Eddie Nketiah can step up in his place, but it will help to have options all across the frontline. And with 10 goals to his name from 18 appearances this season, Mudryk could be useful to call upon from the left wing, where he would be competing with Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal are top of the Premier League at present and will want to make the most of that status while they have the chance to strengthen their squad.

As for Jesus’ injury situation, Arteta explained: “He’s progressing really well. He’s working really hard. H’s in the right place in terms of the time that we set for him, but he’s still a bit far.”

And asked if the Brazilian will be back before the end of the season, he added: “I’d like to see him very quickly but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. We’re gonna have to be patient with that one. But let’s see.

“It’s a complicated surgery, in any surgery there are always a lot of things where you have to be cautious. He’s a player that’s going to push to be really fast on the pitch.”

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