Mykhailo Mudryk had previously expressed a desire to join Arsenal, but only Chelsea could match the £88.5 million asking price. The 22-year-old has now committed to the Blues for eight and a half years. For the best sports betting casinos of January 2023, make sure to check out CasinoDaddy
Mudryk has previously stated on social media that he wished to play for Premier League leaders Arsenal. Even as recently as Friday, Arsenal was still in negotiations but was ready to back out of the agreement if it did not meet their expectations. But on Saturday night, Chelsea and Shakhtar reached an agreement, and the 22-year-old traveled to west London to have a physical before agreeing to an eight-and-a-half-year contract.
“I’m so happy to sign for Chelsea. This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career. I’m excited to meet my new team-mates and I’m looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff,” Mudryk said in a recent comment.
Why Chelsea went after Mudryk?
He had a transfer value of less than £1 million at the beginning of the previous season and was unknown outside of Ukraine. He is currently one of Europe’s most sought-after young talents. After a meteoric climb, Mudryk seemed to be headed for great things.
The 22-year-old has been referred to as “the finest player in Europe in his position” behind Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior by Shakhtar Donetsk’s director of football, Darijo Srna, after showcasing his exciting pace and one-on-one skill in the Champions League group stage earlier this season.
That assertion may have a tinge of hyperbole, but Srna is not the only person who thinks well of Mudryk. His list of potential employers is extensive, and Chelsea is gaining ground in the battle to recruit him.
Arsenal’s negotiation failure
Before Chelsea ramped up their interest, Arsenal had been in contact with Mudryk for a few weeks. The Gunners were reportedly unable to accept Shakhtar’s value of €100m in the manner they first demanded: the majority of the transfer cost upfront and with easily attainable add-ons about individual and team performance.
Even though the clubs were in constant communication and offered compromises at every turn, Arsenal presented three different proposals. The first offer, for about €60 million, came in late December, and the Gunners had received encouraging signals from the player’s camp that he was interested in playing at Emirates Stadium before that offer was made. Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin stated in an interview with The Athletic that Arsenal’s Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, technical director Edu, and manager Mikel Arteta contacted Mudryk contacted him daily.
Shakhtar quickly rejected Arsenal’s opening offer, but the Gunners were confident they could negotiate a lower price than the initial €100 million asking price because the player’s desire to leave was growing. This confidence was partly based on the price of Antony’s €95 million transfer from Ajax to Manchester United last summer. Mudryk told his representatives and Shakhtar that his only thought was moving to the United Arab Emirates.
The Arsenal camp also provided Mudryk’s camp with several guarantees that a fee would be agreed upon. In part as a result of this, Mudryk posted several updates on social media indicating his interest in moving on. These included instances of him watching Arsenal matches and, on New Year’s Eve, when Brighton played Arsenal, he referred to Roberto De Zerbi (his former boss at Shakhtar) and Arteta as “two top coaches.”
There were several rumors that Mudryk was advised against doing this in case things went wrong, but the player wanted to go, and at this time, only Arsenal was making any kind of earnest effort to reach an agreement with Shakhtar. The second offer was raised to almost €70 million, but Shakhtar still refused it.
Beginning in January, Chelsea reconnected with Shakhtar and requested to be kept updated on any developments without formally making their bid. A third offer, which included a set cost of about €70 million with optional add-ons to be discussed, was made by the Gunners on January 13 and was accepted by Shakhtar with a readiness to discuss the specifics, signaling progress in discussions.