Premier League • England

Arsenal make season-defining move for Joao Felix after troubling Man Utd update, as Edu prepares to gift Arteta huge double coup

Arsenal chief Edu with a smiling Mikel Arteta

Man Utd have left the door ajar for Arsenal who are ‘stepping up’ their move for Joao Felix, while a report has also shed light on Edu’s ongoing efforts to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk in what would be a season-defining double coup.

Both the Gunners and Red Devils are seeking additional firepower this month, though for different reasons. Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit has left Erik ten Hag with just Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as his options at centre-forward.

Arsenal, meanwhile, were dealt a major blow when Gabriel Jesus picked up a medial ligament injury in his right knee while playing for Brazil at the World Cup.

Eddie Nketiah has scored two in three while deputising for Jesus, though with a first title since 2004 potentially riding on the business they conduct this month, Arsenal are keen to strengthen.

A target both clubs had converged on is Joao Felix, though according to Sky Sports, Man Utd have now moved on to other targets. A TEAMtalk exclusive on Friday detailed who the Red Devils have turned to.

The Athletic reported Atletico are open to loaning Felix out for the remainder of the season and have quoted suitors a hefty package  worth €21m (approx. £18.5m).

That equates to a loan fee of around £13.2m along with the cost of Felix’s wages – roughly £5.3m – for just six months.

Man Utd abandon Joao Felix chase?

Sky’s Dharmesh Sheth claimed those lofty demands have made Man Utd balk, stating on Thursday evening: “The idea of Joao Felix works because it would be a loan deal but as of Monday, the information I’m getting is that United had moved on to other targets.

“I was told that a deal for Joao Felix was not on the agenda at all based on the terms quoted. There were no live negotiations.”

That’ll be music to the ears of Arsenal who now seemingly have a free shot at signing Felix. The 23-year-old can play a variety of positions in the front line, though is at his most dangerous in central areas.

The Telegraph state Arsenal are ‘stepping up’ their pursuit, and acknowledge the size of the loan fee is expected to determine whether the move does occur.

That could mean Arsenal will attempt to negotiate a lower fee before pulling the trigger. With Felix’s other primary suitor – Man Utd – now out of the running, Atletico may well be forced into dropping their asking price.

Even if Diego Simeone and co. stand firm, Arsenal may yet stump up the cash anyway. An £18.5m commitment is a small price to pay for an established forward who’ll unquestionably aid their title charge.

Mykhaylo Mudryk update

Aside from Felix, the Telegraph provide an update on the ongoing pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Arsenal have tabled two bids for the Ukraine ace, 22, with the latter reportedly totalling £62m.

Shakhtar have publicly claimed they want €100m (approx. £88m) for their winger, or at the very least want a bigger chunk of a lower fee paid up front.

Chelsea have emerged as a credible threat to hijack Arsenal’s move. Indeed, their official, Darijo Srna, was pictured at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night and Fabrizio Romano reported Mudryk’s future was the main topic discussed.

The Telegraph note the injuries suffered by Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic in the clash with Man City could embolden Chelsea to go above and beyond for Mudryk. It’s acknowledged that if push comes to shove, the Blues will be able to outbid Arsenal.

However, Edu won’t give up easily and it’s claimed another improved bid from the Gunners is likely on the way. CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs recently claimed further contact between Arsenal and Shakhtar has already been pencilled in.

What’s more, Mudryk has repeatedly talked up Arsenal and hinted the Emirates is the place he wants to be.

While moves for Felix and Mudryk are far from assured at present, it certainly sounds like Edu is determined to provide his manager with all the firepower he needs to help deliver a first league title in nearly 20 years.

READ MORE: Chelsea to ‘test Arsenal nerve’ with huge Mykhaylo Mudryk bid that finally gets close to Shakhtar valuation