There is growing optimism that Arsenal will complete a deal for Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk, while the Gunners are also in talks with Atletico Madrid over the loan signing of Joao Felix.
Arsenal and Shakhtar are continuing their conversations over Mudryk’s fee amount and payment structure.
A source said Sky Sports News that Arsenal are willing to pay a fee closer to Shakhtar’s £85m valuation. An agreement has not yet been reached but Arsenal are working hard to find a compromise.
Sources familiar with the deal feel the clubs will ‘work out a solution’ with the 21-year-old keen on the move and personal terms not likely to be an issue.
Sky Sports News reported last week that Shakhtar considered Mudryk, who has played just eight times for his country and is yet to score a goal in international football, as one of the top five wingers in the world.
Shakhtar believe he is better than Antony at Manchester United, who cost Ajax £86million in the summer, and are using him as a benchmark in negotiations.
Last week, Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin confirmed the club had received offers for Mudryk, including from Arsenal, but they were ‘not the ones we would like to see’ for a deal to go through .
Chelsea also watched Mudryk but did not make a formal offer for the Ukrainian, who watched Arsenal’s game against West Ham on Boxing Day on TV and posted a picture on Instagram.
Arsenal in talks to loan Felix
Arsenal are also in talks with Atletico over the loan signing of Felix.
The Spanish club are believed to want around £19m for a six-month loan which would include wages, but Arsenal believe that is too much and will only pursue a move if the figures are correct.
A loan switch for the 23-year-old, who has a contract at Atleti until the summer of 2026, is working for both clubs.
Diego Simeone’s side are keen to maintain their market value for a potential sale this summer, while Arsenal seek cover for the injured Gabriel Jesus, who is set to return later this season.
Manchester United have also considered a January move for Felix but have no interest in the deal on the terms cited.
The figures for Felix are believed to be well above United’s January budget and they are now looking elsewhere.
Felix, who joined from Atletico for £113million in July 2019, has scored five goals in all competitions for the club this season, while netting once at last year’s World Cup with Portugal.
Why Felix’s Shard Is Waiting To Be Unlocked
To understand why Joao Felix hasn’t fulfilled his true potential with Atletico Madrid, it’s important to consider how he sees football and how he likes to play it.
“The ball, she’s precious,” he said in an interview with The Players’ Tribune during his breakthrough season with Benfica aged 19. “She’s a gift. A gift for you, a gift for me.”
“As I grew as a man and as a player, I realized that was what I loved – having the ball and playing wonderful, happy football. I’m at my best, that’s where I am.”
Joao Felix would finish this campaign with 15 goals and seven assists in 26 Primeira Liga games, helping Benfica clinch the title and then becoming the world’s most expensive teenager when he joined Atletico on a deal worth £113million, signing a seven-year contract.
Why Mudryk is in demand
At the start of last season, he was an unknown outside of Ukraine with a transfer value of less than £1million. Today, he is one of the most coveted young players in Europe. After a meteoric rise, Mykhailo Mudryk seems destined for great things.
The 21-year-old, who showed his thrilling speed and one-on-one ability in the Champions League group stage earlier this season, has been described by Shakhtar Donetsk director of football Darijo Srna , as “the best player in Europe in his position” after Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior.
There may be a hint of exaggeration in this statement, but Srna is not the only one who holds Mudryk in high regard. His list of suitors is long and Premier League leaders Arsenal are at the top.
Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday, January 1, 2023 and closes at 11 p.m. to Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center Blog to Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins, outs and analysis at Sky Sports News.