Arsenal CEO hints at reason for Mykhaylo Mudryk negotiations delay

Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has suggested that concerns over Mykhaylo Mudryk’s price tag has led to delays in their negotiations over the Shakhtar Donetsk forward.

The Gunners have been chasing Mudryk for weeks but saw two offers knocked back by Shakhtar, who have publicly warned suitors that they would only entertain bids of around €100m, similar to the fees paid for Jack Grealish and Antony by Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.

Talks remain on between the two sides and 90min understands an agreement is closer than ever, with Arsenal indicating a willingness to increase their offer and provide the significant up-front payment that Shakhtar have been demanding.

While all this has been going on behind the scenes, Mudryk has openly admitted his desire to join Arsenal. He has been flirting with the Gunners on social media for months, publicly expressing his wish to move to the Emirates and telling those in charge at Shakhtar that he wants to be sold.

Mudryk had previously hit out at his asking price, questioning how any team would agree to pay so much money for a player from the Ukrainian league, and Venkatesham has suggested Arsenal had similar concerns.

“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 told CNN when asked for an update on Arsenal’s transfer business. “When those two things make sense, then we’ll make a move. When something doesn’t make sense, we need to be patient.”

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Unsurprisingly, Venkatesham refused to discuss any specific players, but he assured fans that Arsenal are active behind the scenes when it comes to plotting potential recruitment opportunities.

“Well you will not be surprised to hear that I’m not going to talk about individual players,” Venkatesham stressed. “But of course, we are in a transfer window at the moment, Edu Gaspar has a long-term plan around how we want to strengthen our squad and whenever a transfer window is open, there’s an opportunity for us and of course we are always looking to see if there’s an opportunity that makes sense for us.

“If an opportunity makes sense for us, we will do it and January is no different from any other transfer window.”