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Arsenal 'make improved bid for Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykhaylo Mudryk'

Arsenal 'make improved bid for Mykhaylo Mudryk'
© Reuters
Arsenal reportedly make an improved bid for Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Mykhaylo Mudryk after seeing a €65m (£57.6m) offer turned down.

Arsenal have reportedly approached Shakhtar Donetsk with an improved bid for attacker Mykhaylo Mudryk.

The Gunners are confirmed to be in talks over a deal for the Ukraine international, who is understood to be their leading target for the January transfer window.

Arsenal are believed to have tabled an initial €65m (£57.6m) bid for Mudryk, which would have seen Shakhtar pocket €40m (£35.5m) up front and an additional €25m (£22.2m) in performance-related add-ons.

Shakhtar quickly rebuffed Arsenal's opening offer and have publicly slapped a €100m (£88.7m) price tag on the head of Mudryk, who is known to be keen on a move to the Premier League leaders.

Negotiations between the two parties have continued since Arsenal's first bid was rejected, but according to Foot Mercato, Mikel Arteta's side have come forward with a second offer.

Mykhailo Mudryk celebrates scoring for Shakhtar Donetsk on September 14, 2022© Reuters

The report does not mention a figure, but it is claimed that "all parties" are confident of an agreement to take Mudryk to North London in the coming weeks.

The Ukrainian attacker has caught the eye of several clubs across Europe after scoring 10 goals and setting up eight more in 18 appearances in all competitions for Shakhtar in the 2022-23 season.

Mudryk scored three goals and set up two more in six Champions League group-stage matches and has added a further seven strikes and six assists in 12 games during the Ukrainian top-flight season.

Shakhtar are under no pressure to sell on the cheap, as Mudryk is contracted to the 13-time Ukrainian champions until December 2026, having penned an extension last February.

Since emerging into the Shakhtar first team, Mudryk has amassed 12 goals and 17 assists in 44 games for the club, and he has earned eight senior caps for Ukraine since making his debut in a World Cup qualifying playoff semi-final against Scotland in June.

Mikel Arteta pictured on December 31, 2022© Reuters

Arsenal have identified the final third as their area of priority in the January market following injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson, the former of whom could be out until March after a knee operation.

Nelson, meanwhile, damaged his hamstring in a winter friendly with Juventus on December 17 and is expected to remain sidelined for another few weeks, although Arteta could soon have Emile Smith Rowe back from a groin injury.

In Jesus's absence, Eddie Nketiah has stepped up to the plate for the Gunners, scoring in back-to-back Premier League starts against West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard were also on target in a 4-2 win over the Seagulls on New Year's Eve, which saw Arsenal extend their lead at the top of the table over Manchester City to seven points.

Arteta's side are next in action at home to third-placed Newcastle United on Tuesday and will temporarily go 10 points clear at the summit should they best Eddie Howe's men.

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Mykhaylo Mudryk celebrates scoring for Shakhtar Donetsk against Celtic on October 25, 2022
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