Arsenal could end up losing January prime target Mykhaylo Mudryk as Newcastle plot a sensational move for him.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has reportedly recommended Mudryk, his Ukrainian national team-mate, to Arsenal. And it has seen Gunners technical director Edu start talks over signing the left winger.
According to reports on Thursday, Edu got the ball rolling by submitting a proposal to Shakhtar Donetsk for Mudryk. He’s close to Shakhtar’s €60m (£52.3m) asking price.
Negotiations between Arsenal and Shakhtar are now in the ‘decisive’ phase, which means a deal could be agreed in the coming weeks.
This put Arsenal in pole position to land the highly rated wide man. However, there is now a major threat hanging over the transfer.
And he could end up being Newcastle’s record signing. That feat is currently held by Swedish striker Alexander Isak following his £60million transfer from Real Sociedad in August.
While Newcastle are initially looking to sign Mudryk for £50m, the report claims there is a chance he could end up costing upwards of £60m.
Newcastle owners sanction big spending on winger
Newcastle’s swoop comes after Eddie Howe got the green light from club owners Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to spend big in January.
It means Newcastle can blow Arsenal out of the water for Mudryk, if it were to come down to that.
However, the eight-time Ukraine international will likely be the only big name from Newcastle to arrive this winter. The Magpies chiefs are wary of Financial Fair Play regulations and therefore do not want to spend more than £100m in January.
Arsenal will be extremely wary of Newcastle’s approach to Mudryk. Although Edu has the money to play, he doesn’t have the endless support like those at St James’ Park.
As such, Edu will have to be smart when trying to convince Shakhtar to sell to Arsenal. And he’ll have to be just as smart to entice Mudryk to join Arsenal rather than Newcastle.
One factor he could point to is that Arsenal are ahead of Newcastle in the Premier League table. Mikel Arteta’s side sit in first place having won 11 of their 13 league games so far.
They seem to be the only team capable of putting Manchester City under serious pressure at the moment. And Edu could use that as a big selling point when trying to convince Mudryk to sign.
Newcastle are doing well, sitting in third place with 27 points. They are on a massive upward trajectory and it surely won’t be long before they become true rivals to Arsenal and City.
This means the Gunners have a relatively short window if they want access to Mudryk’s services ahead of Newcastle.