Arsenal head to Italy in search for Mykhaylo Mudryk alternative amid Chelsea threat; Edu to capitalise on disastrous contract talks

Hirving Lozano, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Giovanni Di Lorenzo

Arsenal have reportedly identified a Serie A winger as an alternative to Mykhaylo Mudryk, amid Chelsea’s push to sign the Shakhtar Donetsk man.

Arsenal put forward their first bid for Mudryk on Boxing Day. According to Fabrizio Romano, it was worth an initial €40million plus €20m in add-ons. That works out at £52.7m in total.

But Shakhtar did not accept the proposal as they value Mudryk at a whopping £88m. They told Arsenal to look at the expensive deals for Jack Grealish and Antony when considering their next bid.

Mikel Arteta’s side are refusing to put that sort of money on the table, however. They recently came back with an improved offer which includes an initial €50m (£44m) sum and large bonuses.

According to the Daily Mail, Shakhtar will reject Arsenal’s second offer. It still does not meet their valuation of Mudryk.

Arsenal’s reluctance to get close to Shakhtar’s demands is increasing the possibility of the wide man joining a Premier League rival. Chelsea are posing a serious threat to the Arsenal deal. They are interested in snapping Mudryk up and have the finances to bid more for him than Arsenal.

In another blow for the Gunners, Shakhtar director of football Darijo Srna is more than happy to negotiate with Chelsea as well. He will soon travel to London, where he will discuss Mudryk’s prospective move with both Arsenal and Chelsea officials.

Before the bidding started, Arsenal were in pole position to capture the Ukrainian ace. This is partly down to the fact Mudryk wants to join them.

Mykhaylo Mudryk could end up at Chelsea

But as time has gone on, and Shakhtar have rejected their proposals, it is now likely he could end up at Stamford Bridge. Mudryk’s ideal club remains Arsenal, but he can do nothing about it if they refuse to pay the necessary money to capture him.

Arsenal sporting director Edu is now looking at alternative winger signings, in case the Mudryk pursuit fails. And according to Sport Witness, who cite Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Edu has set his sights on Napoli’s Hirving Lozano.

The 27-year-old is facing an uncertain future in Italy. His Napoli contract expires in June 2024. The Serie A outfit have begun talks over an extension, but they are not going well.

Indeed, Lozano is gunning for a move away from Napoli as they have not gotten close to his wage demands.

Arsenal believe him to be a realistic target because of his career aims. Lozano wants to play in the Premier League before it is too late, and has expressed this desire a few times.

Arsenal ‘courting’ winger alternative

Arsenal are thought to be ‘courting’ the Mexican, who has won 63 caps for his national team. Sadly for Arteta and Edu, it will not be an easy route to Lozano’s signature.

That is because English rivals Newcastle also hold an interest in landing him. Just like Arsenal, the Magpies are monitoring Lozano’s situation ahead of a potential bid in the near future.

Clubs from Germany want him too, although these are not named by Sport Witness.

Lozano looks like a decent alternative to Mudryk, should the latter join Chelsea. He has plenty of Serie A experience and has also scored goals in the Champions League.

And Lozano may well opt to join Arsenal over Newcastle, too. While Newcastle are in the top four currently, Arsenal are fighting for their first Prem title in 19 years. They are pretty much guaranteed Champions League qualification for next season, whereas Newcastle may fall behind some of their bigger competitors.

Lozano will take these factors into account when deciding which English team to join, and they will probably put Arsenal in the driving seat for a deal.

Meanwhile, Edu has been left shocked by a midfield target’s wage demands, according to reports.