Shakhtar Donetsk have confirmed they rejected a £26m bid from a Premier League side to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk, though his recent comments suggest Arsenal hold the advantage over his three other suitors.
The 21-year-old Ukraine international is quickly developing a reputation as one of Europe’s hottest properties. Mudryk plies his trade for Shakhtar Donetsk and provided 11 goal contributions in 19 appearances from the left wing last season.
He’s already performing at a far higher level this term, with two goals and three assists coming from his opening five matches.
Even more impressive is the fact four of those goal contributions have come in the Champions League.
He scored and assisted two in the 4-1 thumping of RB Leipzig last week. On Wednesday evening he scored the leveller against Celtic to ensure Shakthar remained undefeated in Group F.
Mudryk was reportedly the subject of a £26m bid from Brentford as the summer window wound down. That came from Football Insider, who now report Newcastle have taken note.
They claim Magpies boss Eddie Howe is keen to add more firepower to his forward line, specifically on the wings.
Alexander Isak has provided a new threat centrally, though Newcastle failed to land any of their targets on the flanks.
However, Newcastle won’t have a January move all to themselves. Aside from both Newcastle and Brentford, Everton and Arsenal are involved.
Mudryk bid confirmed
Speaking to CBS Sports, Shakhtar director, Darijo Srna, confirmed Everton saw a £26m bid rejected in the summer.
Srna also claimed Mudryk is behind only Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr when ranking European football’s best left wingers.
As such, Srna expects the new Ukrainian talisman to fetch far more than what has been bid so far if Shakhtar do wind up selling.
“We received an offer of €30million [from Everton],” Srna told CBS Sports.
“And when our president doesn’t sell a player for €30million, especially in such difficult times, he is sending a message to everyone that he wants to progress in the Champions League and to win the championship.
“Mudryk is a serious talent. After Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr, he’s the best player in Europe in his position.
“If someone wants to buy Mudryk they must spend a lot, a lot, a lot of money and respect our club and our president.”
How do Arsenal fit in?
Arsenal are the fourth Premier League side to be involved in the transfer saga, though according to the player himself, they have the advantage.
When speaking to CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs last week, Mudryk admitted he could never say no if Arsenal came calling.
Jacobs asked the 21-year-old if he dreams of playing in the Premier League one day.
“Yes,” admitted Mudryk. “I think every guy dreams about the Premier League.”
When pushed if there was any one “dream” club in particular he’d like to play for, such as Real Madrid or Arsenal, Mudryk continued: “Yes yes, it’s hard to say but Arsenal is a very good team.
“Very good coach, I like the way they play.”
If that wasn’t reason enough to get Gunners fans’ hopes up, Jacobs finished his interview by asking if it’d be hard to say no if Arsenal came calling.
“Yes, from my side I can’t say no. But a transfer is not only my decision and my word.”
Fabrizio Romano subsequently reported Shakhtar will hold out for around £43m for Mudryk.
If his Champions League displays are anything to go by, it may be wise to move in January before his value skyrockets further.