Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has implied that the fee involved in Mykhaylo Mudryk’s transfer is one of the reasons why the deal is taking so long to complete.
The January transfer window has been open for less than two weeks, but Arsenal fans are already beginning to get agitated over the lack of business conducted by the club so far.
Mikel Arteta’s side find themselves five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and through to the last 16 of the Europa League, but a lack of squad depth risks holding the team back as the season progresses.
The absence of both Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson was eased slightly this week when Emile Smith Rowe returned to action following a three-month spell on the sidelines, despite this, Arteta has continued to admit that attacking options remain thin.
“The problem is we have only one (striker),” the Spaniard said on Monday. “And to go for that many months til Jesus is back is not easy. But we have to get the most out of the players that we have at the moment and if we can have some reinforcements – great.”
One of those potential reinforcements could be Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. Reports suggest Arsenal made initial enquiries for the player back in the summer, however, football.london understands interest intensified after the Gunners submitted an opening bid worth £55million including add-ons towards the end of December.
Mudryk himself has also made it evidently clear that he wishes to move to Arsenal this month, dropping several hints on social media and publicly confirming his admiration for the club. So, with Arsenal and the player both wanting the same thing, why exactly hasn’t a transfer been completed yet? Well, chief executive Vinai Venkatesham hinted at the reason during an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
Venkatesham was speaking from the reveal event for the new Emirates Stadium artwork, which will adorn the walls of the ground in the coming weeks. While much of the conversation was centred around the stadium revamp and the current season, CNN news anchor Richard Quest.
Whilst Venkatesham refused to speak about specific players, he did suggest that one of the factors slowing down the deal is the fee involved. Up until yesterday, it’s believed Arsenal had submitted two bids, both of which were knocked back. But a third bid has now gone in, Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports.
Shakhtar believe Mudryk is worth around the same price as Jack Grealish and Antony, making them reluctant to soften their stance as they hold out for a fee closer to their £88million valuation. Understandably, the Gunners have so far been unwilling to match that figure as they attempt to reach a compromise and strike a deal at a reduced price, which Venkatesham hinted.
“Can we find a player that we think is going to really add something to the squad and can we find a player where we think the price of that player makes sense,” he said. “When those two things make sense, then we’ll make a move. When something doesn’t make sense, we need to be patient.”
There are now suggestions though that progress is being made between the two clubs and that negotiations are moving in the right direction. As they say, patience is of the essence.