Arsenal have had their second bid for Mykhaylo Mudryk rejected by Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainian club rebuffed the Gunners’ initial offer of £52M and weren’t interested when they came back with £10M more, either. They reportedly want to stick to their £88M valuation, using the Antony and Jack Grealish transfers as benchmarks for their star winger.
If you were a club trying to get the absolute most in return for your best player and had received two offers that you deemed insufficient, what would you do? I’d probably try to create a bidding war to make it seem like the club that want the player might miss out.
Have I got the scoop for you. Reports are that Shakhtar have reached out to Chelsea, and that Todd Boehly wants to flap his gums and posture like a fool about hijacking the move. Boehly keeps trying to make a splash, but he doesn’t realize he’s stamping his feet in the kiddie pool. Clubs and agents are playing his teenage desperation to be relevant for their own ends. If he’s not careful, he’s going to wind up center stage, with the whole school laughing at him because his pants have fallen down.
Unfortunately for Shakhtar, they’re dangerously close to overplaying their hand. Mudryk wants to move to Arsenal. He’s made that crystal clear. It doesn’t seem as if he’d be willing to go anywhere else. And I find it incredibly hard to believe that any Ukrainian player would want to move to Chelsea, of all places. You’ll recall that earlier this year, Stamford Bridge rang out in songs of support for Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Putin.
Arsenal made two bids for Raphinha in the summer, then stopped. They’ve made two bids for Mudryk. I’m not sure they’ll make a third. If they do, it won’t come close to Shakhtar’s overpriced valuation. My understanding is that the club could really do with the cash from a big transfer. Shakhtar are playing a risky game. If they don’t come off their number, Arsenal are going to walk and turn their attention elsewhere, Shakhtar won’t have a buyer until at least the summer, and they’ll have upset their star player in the process.
The Gunners hold enough cards here. Time to play hardball. And mix metaphors.