Arsenal in talks to sign Ukrainian centre-half from Shakhtar Donetsk

Nestor Watach

Arsenal are in talks to sign Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko – according to the player’s agent. 

Earlier in the month, it was reported that the 23-year-old Ukrainian international was on a four-man shortlist to come into Manchester City’s defence, looking light in that area after Vincent Kompany’s departure and Aymeric Laporte’s long lay-off.

Now, the latest suggestion is that the centre-half could be coming to the Premier League – for City’s rivals Arsenal.

“Recently, my colleagues and I have been constantly in contact with representatives of the Arsenal, and have had meetings,” his agent Agent Yuriy Danchenko told the Ukrainian media, via Sky Sports News.

“The Gunners have already contacted Shakhtar, and we hope that these negotiations will succeed.”

There’s been increased scrutiny on the Gunners defence following Tuesday evening’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea, in which an errant pass back from Shkodran Mustafi led to his partner David Luiz being sent off for a last-man challenge on Tammy Abraham.

Next season, Mikel Arteta will be boosted by the arrival of highly-rated young French defender William Saliba, who was signed last summer before being loaned back to Saint-Etienne.

Matviyenko would potentially further bolster the options at the back for Arteta’s new-look Gunners.

He’s emerged as a highly-rated prospect in European football over the past couple of years at Shakhtar, gaining Champions League experience and winning the Ukrainian league.

He’s also become a key player for Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine national team, who emphatically qualified for Euro 2020 after topping a group featuring Portugal and Serbia, playing in a defence that conceded just four goals from eight qualifiers.