Man Utd blamed for driving up price of Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk

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Arsenal are still chasing a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk (Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Arsenal are still chasing a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk (Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Arsenal have been told that they will have to stump up in excess of £85million to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk - because Shakhtar Donetsk believe the Ukrainian winger is a better player than Antony, who moved to the Premier League for a similar price in the summer.

Antony's summer switch to Manchester United could eventually end up costing £85m if various add-ons and performance-related clauses are met. And in an unlikely turn of events, it appears as though Arsenal could suffer as a result of United's desire to pay a premium price for the former Ajax star.

The Gunners are desperate to land Mudryk this month after the 22-year-old was identified as Mikel Arteta's No.1 transfer target.

But Shakhtar Donetsk director Carlo Nicolini has warned Mudryk's suitors that the winger will not come cheap after pointing out that the monster fee Ajax raked in for Antony is now what they consider to be "the benchmark" in the market for someone of Mudryk's profile.

"Given that we have no need for transfers, we said in due time that we evaluate the player stronger than some other profiles, such as Antony. This is the benchmark," Nicolini told CalcioNapoli24 on Thursday.

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"The problem is that Italian clubs don’t take advantage of opportunities, like Milan with Enzo Fernandez, who is now worth over 100 million. When you arrive in time on a player you have to sink the shot, otherwise the prices change."

Join the debate! Who do you think will win the race for Mudryk: Arsenal or Chelsea? Let us know here.

Man Utd blamed for driving up price of Arsenal target Mykhaylo MudrykManchester United paid £85million to bring Antony to Old Trafford from Ajax back in the summer (Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Nicolini's warning came on the same day that delegates from Shakhtar attended Chelsea's match with Manchester City for talks over Mudryk.

The Blues are also courting the Ukrainian outfit's prized asset and could attempt to gazump Arsenal, who have already tabled two bids for the coveted forward since the transfer window opened last week.

Mirror Footballrevealed on Wednesday that Chelsea have now also opened talks over a deal for Mudryk, who is expected to depart Shakhtar this month after plundering 11 goals in 19 outings this term.

Although Mudryk is Arsenal's top target, and the fact they are light on attacking options in the wake of Gabriel Jesus' recent knee surgery, the Gunners have so far been reluctant to meet Shakhtar's official asking price: leaving Chelsea hopeful that they can pip their rivals to a deal for the youngster.

It is believed, however, that Mudryk heavily favours a move to the Emirates. The Shakhtar star has dropped numerous hints on social media in recent weeks, including clips of him watching various Arsenal games on his Instagram.

Mudryk also set tongues wagging by liking a mischievous meme from an Arsenal-based account that depicted him locked inside a prison complete with the Shakhtar badge and a caption of “#freemudryk”.

Dan Marsh

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