Arsenal look set to fail in their second bid for Mykhaylo Mudryk with Jack Grealish cited as a reason for Shakhtar Donetsk to reject the £62m offer.
Reports claim talks are ongoing between Arsenal and Shakhtar over a move for the Ukraine international, who’s caught the eye through his Champions League performances this season.
The Gunners had their opening bid of £52m turned down and the Daily Mail claim they are also set to fail with their improved offer of £62m, with Shakhtar holding out for their asking price of £88m.
The report claims that Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin is now also in talks with Chelsea, who are thought more likely to be able to meet their desired price.
Darijo Srna, Shakhtar’s director of football, is said to be in England for talks over the coming days and although Chelsea are yet to table a bid, it’s believed their interest could force the final transfer fee up.
The report also claims that Shakhtar are using Jack Grealish’s move to Manchester City and Antony’s transfer to Manchester United as a barometer for any fee for Mudryk.
Mudryk could provide some much-needed depth for Arsenal, who are looking to maintain the significant gap they’ve built between them and Manchester City in second place in the Premier League.
His arrival could relieve the pressure on a trio of players without whom Arsenal will struggle to go all the way this season, according to Ian Wright.
“I keep saying it’s just about enjoying the moment,” the pundit said on The Kelly and Wrighty show.
“The players are clearly dialled in to what they’re doing but it’s going to be tough.
“We know how good Manchester City are and they’re probably the only team who could take a couple of injuries to key players and still win the league.
“Arsenal fans know this is a very special time, it feels good and they’re answering every question right now.
“But if there are a couple of injuries it could be a different story.
“There’s still a chance Arsenal will try and sign a couple of players in January.
“But when you look at the team this season, Saka’s done it, Partey’s done it, Odegaard has done it.
“Those are the ones, if Partey, Odegaard and Saka stay fit – which is going to be very tough – then I think Arsenal have got a very good chance of winning the league.”