Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi reckons Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk is a future Ballon d’Or winner.

The Italian was in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk last season before his spell was cut short due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During his short time at the club, De Zerbi had the fortune of managing Mudryk and is in no doubt as to the potential of the 21-year-old winger.

“Mudryk can win the Ballon d’Or in the future,” De Zerbi told reporters ahead of Brighton’s clash with leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

“I know the value of Mudryk. He has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or.”

Arsenal have had a £57million bid rejected for Mudryk this week but are continuing talks with Shakhtar, who are holding out for a fee in excess of £85m.

Boss Mikel Arteta has long courted the Ukrainian starlet and with Gabriel Jesus sidelined with a knee injury, the Spaniard wants to ensure his side’s title bid doesn’t derail.

Arteta was asked about Arsenal’s pursuit of Mudryk on Friday, ahead of the New Year’s Eve trip to Brighton, but remained tight-lipped.

“I cannot talk about players that is not Arsenal,” said the Gunners boss.

Mudryk would provide further attacking ammunition to a free scoring Arsenal side and having boasted 18 goal involvements this season, he is the type of player that could hit the ground running for the Premier League leaders.

The winger featured for Shakhtar in this season’s Champions League, scoring three times in six group stage matches but was unable to prevent his side from dropping into the Europa League.

Mudyrk has earned eight caps for Ukraine and only made his debut in June’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland.

He was named Shakhtar’s player of the year for the second straight season this week,


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