Arsenal DID match Chelsea’s £88m transfer bid for Mudryk as Shakhtar Donetsk chief reveals nearly TWO MONTHS of talks

ARSENAL matched Chelsea’s £88million offer for Mykhail Mudryk… but missed out due to the Blues’ more “achievable” bonuses.

The Gunners seemed to be closing in on a move for the Ukrainian, 22, ahead of the January transfer window.

GettyMykhailo Mudryk was confirmed by Chelsea on Sunday[/caption]

Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mudryk had been hinting about joining Mikel Arteta‘s side and a deal appeared to be in the final stages before Chelsea swooped in to seal an eight-and-a-half-year contract.

In an interview with The Athletic, Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin revealed Arsenal had made their first contact with the player in “October or November”.

By contrast, the Blues did not enter negotiations until the end of December.

But Chelsea’s co-owner Behdad Eghbali and director of global transfers Paul Winstanley swiftly flew out to meet Mudryk in Turkey and brought him back to London on a private jet.

A lucrative transfer was then finalised and personal terms were agreed.

It was initially understood that Arsenal had failed to match Chelsea’s offer, something Palkin has refuted.

He said: “When they (Arsenal) proposed the final offer of €70million (£62m) plus €30million (£26m) in add-ons, we sat down and started to talk internally about how it will be fulfilled in terms of the payments, the fixed part and the bonus issues. 

“We realised we will not close this deal (with Arsenal). I said to Edu (the Gunners sporting director) that I did my best but it was not possible.”

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The nature of Chelsea’s payment process was a far more favourable one for Shakhtar compared to the proposition Arsenal had put forward.

Bonuses within the Blues’ transfer bid included winning the Premier League and Champions League before his contract expires in 2030.

These were deemed to be “achievable” goals that he can attain at Stamford Bridge.

Palkin continued: “These bonuses should be somehow achievable and realistic, let’s say. Therefore, in this case, Chelsea was much more serious and fair in some points.

“When we met Chelsea, we stayed all together. For you to understand the context, it was for nine or 10 hours. They invited the player and explained to us the whole project.

“We realised that, yes, if you look right now, Chelsea have some kinds of problems but it is normal because they have a transition period from one owner to another. 

“It is understandable. They would like to change a lot. So when they explain to you the whole story and you look for the next two, three, four, five years, then you see they have a serious project.

“I believe they will build one of the best clubs in the world because I am telling you, they are very serious in all directions: sports science, the stadium side, the commercial side, on all things. For us, they looked very ambitious.”

It was revealed on Monday that Shakhtar will donate £20.5m of the £88m transfer fee to help Ukraine’s war effort following the Russian invasion.

Mudryk played just 44 games for Shakhtar, contributing 12 goals and 17 assists.

He has also been capped eight times by Ukraine but is yet to register a goal contribution.

Meanwhile, Chelsea currently sit 10th in the Premier League table.

They are 10 points adrift of the top four and a huge 19 behind league leaders Arsenal.

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