Shakhtar Donetsk director Darijo Srna is pictured sitting just a few rows in front of Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea try to hijack Arsenal’s move for £85m-rated Mykhailo Mudryk
Shakhtar Donetsk director Darijo Srna was spotted at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea try to hijack a move for Arsenal target Mykhailo Mudryk.
Ukrainian side Shakhtar are expected to reject Arsenal’s improved bid for star winger Mudryk as they look to utilise Chelsea’s interest to their advantage.
Srna has been in London to discuss a deal for the £85million rated talent and was in attendance for Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Shakhtar Donetsk director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge on Thursday
It comes after Srna (C) met former Arsenal forward Eduardo (L) and ex-Chelsea winger Willian (R) in London
Ukrainian side Shakhtar are expected to reject Arsenal’s second, improved offer of £62million for Mudryk and use Chelsea’s interest to their advantage as they look to create a bidding war
It will be a concern to Arsenal, with Srna sat just a few rows in front of Chelsea owner Todd Boehly who is keen to strengthen his side during the January transfer window.
The pursuit of the 21-year-old Ukrainian is hotting up, and Srna had already got people speaking earlier on Thursday after he was pictured getting coffee with ex-Arsenal striker Eduardo, and Willian who played for both clubs – but had a much more successful stint at Chelsea.
Talks are taking place with Chelsea over the next 24 hours with Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin and Srna both in London.
Srna, a club stalwart, however has family in London and Brazilian-born pair Eduardo and Willian are both former team-mates of his at the Ukrainian giants, which could explain their meeting.
Arsenal made an improved offer of £45million rising to £62m for Mudryk, who has maintained he wishes to join Arsenal – but Shakhtar have said they want closer to, if not more than, £85m and Chelsea’s presence in talks could push offers closer to that figure.
Mudryk is Gunners boss Mikel Arteta’s main target this month and Arsenal have made two bids for the Ukraine winger, 22. The first, believed to be worth around £52m, was turned down by Shakhtar, who publicly value Mudryk at around £88m.
The Ukrainian forward is Mikel Arteta’s primary transfer target in the January transfer window
Arsenal returned with an improved offer, understood to be worth up to £62m, and there was optimism that a deal would be agreed in this transfer window.
But they could now face competition from Chelsea, who are understood to be exploring a possible move for Mudryk. It is believed they would be more likely to splash out on Mudryk if their potentially £100m-plus move for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez falls through.
Sources in Ukraine told Sportsmail that, with CEO Palkin now talking to both clubs, Shakhtar are likely to turn down Arsenal’s improved offer as it remains ‘far away’ from their £88m target.
Shakhtar are believed to value Mudryk at around €100m (£88m) with Chelsea also interested
Shakhtar see Jack Grealish’s £100m move to Manchester CIty and Antony’s £85m transfer to Manchester United as a barometer for any fee for Mudryk, who has shone so far this season
Srna, Shakhtar’s director of football, is in England for talks in the coming days. The Croatian visits London fairly regularly, Sportsmail understands, because his family live in the English capital.
Chelsea are not believed to have tabled their own bid for Mudryk, as things stand, but their interest could force his price up. That is despite the winger making clear his desire to join Arsenal.
Shakhtar see Jack Grealish’s £100m move to Manchester CIty and Antony’s £85m transfer to Man United as a barometer for any fee for Mudryk, who was described as a potential Ballon d’Or winner by his former manager Roberto De Zerbi.