Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Edu set £87.5m fee to sign No 1 target who is ‘better than Man Utd star’

Edu Gaspar, May 2019

Arsenal chief Edu Gaspar pictured working with the Brazil national team, May 2019

Arsenal technical director Edu has been warned that any January deal for the club’s top target is likely to set them back a club-record fee.

The Gunners are sat proudly on top of the Premier League table, having won 12 of their 14 games. That places them five points clear of Manchester City and ensures the Gunners top the tree at Christmas. As a result, it has Gunners supporters dreaming of an end to their 19-year title wait.

However, despite the positivity around Arsenal right now, there is a feeling that Mikel Arteta still needs to add to his squad. To that end, we exclusively revealed how the Gunners plan at least two signings in January, while they also plan to tie down another crucial element too.

As a result, plans are already being put in place for an aggressive approach to the January transfer window.

First up, Arteta is seeking to land a new midfielder. He believes he needs cover and competition for Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. And while they have Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga, the Gunners chief feels he needs more quality. And Leicester’s Youri Tielemans looks likely to come under their radar once again.

Beyond that, Arteta also wants to add another goalscoring winger. And their top target is Shakhtar Donetsk star Mykhaylo Mudryk.

The Ukrainian star has caught the eye this season with some stellar performances in the Champions League. He scored three times and added two assists from six appearances in the competition.

And having failed with a summer offer for the 21-year-old, the Gunners are readying a renewed approach.

To further boost their chances, Mudryk has made it clear that he would find any approach from Arsenal hard to resist.

New Mudryk asking price poses problem for Arsenal

However, Shakhtar are warning they will not let Mudryk leave on the cheap. There were suggestions that a fee of around £52m would tempt the Ukrainians to sell.

But Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin has told The Athletic that any fee is likely to cost Arsenal a club record fee.

“Mudryk is a talent in a process. What he is showing today, it’s just 60 per cent of what he can do in the future. And when you multiply this, you realise that he costs much, much more.

“Therefore, we believe that in the future he can cost definitely around €100 million.”

That asking price, which converts to £87.5m in British sterling, would represent a club-record fee for the Gunners. That is previously set at the £72m paid to Lille for Nicolas Pepe in summer 2019.

However, Shakhtar’s director of football Dario Srna insists is is the market, rather than they, who dictate today’s prices. And he claims Mudryk will offer Arsenal more than either Jack Grealish for Man City or Antony at Manchester United.

“The market is deciding the price – not me,” Srna said. “Antony, Grealish, they are players of more than €100m and for me, Mudryk does not have less quality than them.”

Gunners have decision to make

If Shakhtar stay true to their word, that will almost certainly price Arsenal out the market. TEAMtalk understands they are willing to spend around £60m in January – and hope to land a couple of players within that.

And while they are very keen on Mudryk, they will have to weigh up whether that investment will be worth it. Granted the player has excelled in the Champions League, which suggests he can become a huge star of the future.

Two his three goals, though, did come against whipping boys Celtic and that may not prove a true gauge.

It’s likely, though, that Arsemal will go above the pre-existing fee for Mudryk. However, they are highly-unlikely to pay the €100m Shakhtar are demanding.

They could, though, look to incentify the deal by adding sell-in clauses or lucrative bonuses depending on performances.

READ MOREFive Arsenal transfer targets that could boost their Premier League title challenge: Mudryk, Tielemans…