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Arsenal transfer news: Optimism Gunners will agree Mykhailo Mudryk deal with Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix a target

Arsenal remain in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk; one source has told Sky Sports News the Gunners are prepared to pay a fee closer to Shakhtar's valuation; negotiations ongoing between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid over loan signing of forward Joao Felix

Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix - Getty/AP Photo
Image: Mykhailo Mudryk (left) and Joao Felix are both Arsenal targets this January

There is growing optimism that Arsenal will agree a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykhailo Mudryk, while the Gunners are also in talks with Atletico Madrid over the loan signing of Joao Felix.

Arsenal and Shakhtar are continuing conversations over the size of the fee and the payment structure for Mudryk.

One source has told Sky Sports News that Arsenal are prepared to pay a fee closer to Shakhtar's £85m valuation. An agreement hasn't been reached yet but Arsenal are working hard to find a compromise.

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Jamie Carragher says he'd love to see Arsenal win the title, and believes the signing of Mykhailo Mudryk could be key in their efforts to hold off the challenge of Manchester City

There is a feeling from sources close to the deal that the clubs will "find a solution", with the 21-year-old wanting the move and personal terms not expected to be a problem.

Sky Sports News reported last week that Shakhtar regard Mudryk, who has played just eight times for his country and is yet to score a goal in international football, as one of the top five wingers in the world.

Shakhtar believe he is better than Antony at Manchester United, who cost £86m from Ajax in the summer, and are using that as their benchmark in negotiations.

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Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi, who previously managed Mykhailo Mudryk at Shakhtar Donetsk, held high praise for the 21-year-old

Last week, Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin confirmed the club had received offers for Mudryk, including from Arsenal, but they were "not the ones we would like to see" for a deal to be done.

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Chelsea have also looked at Mudryk but have not made a formal offer for the Ukrainian, who watched Arsenal's game against West Ham on Boxing Day on TV and posted a picture on Instagram.

Arsenal in Felix loan talks

Joao Felix has been linked with a move to the Premier League
Image: Joao Felix has been at Atletico Madrid since July 2019

Arsenal are also in talks with Atletico over the loan signing of Felix.

It is thought the Spanish club want in the region of £19m for a six-month loan deal which would include wages, but Arsenal feel that it is too much and will only pursue a move if the figures are right.

A loan switch for the 23-year-old, who has a contract at Atleti until the summer of 2026, works for both clubs.

Diego Simeone's side are keen to maintain his market value for a potential sale in the summer, while Arsenal are looking for cover for the injured Gabriel Jesus, who is expected to return later this season.

Manchester United have also looked into a January move for Felix but have no interest in the deal at the terms being quoted.

The figures for Felix are thought to be well in excess of United's January budget and they are now looking elsewhere.

Felix, who joined Atletico for £113m in July 2019, has scored five goals in all competitions for the club this season, while he scored once at last year's World Cup with Portugal.

Why Felix's brilliance is waiting to be unlocked

Joao Felix pictured at his Atletico Madrid unveiling in 2019
Image: Joao Felix pictured at his Atletico Madrid unveiling in 2019

To understand why Joao Felix has not realised his true potential with Atletico Madrid, it is important to consider how he sees football and the way in which he likes to play it.

"The ball, she is precious," he said in an interview with The Players' Tribune during his breakthrough season with Benfica at the age of 19. "She is a gift. A gift to you, a gift to me."

"As I grew as a man, and as a player, I realised that's what I loved - to have the ball, and to play wonderful, happy football. That's when I am at my best, that's when I am me."

Joao Felix would finish that campaign with 15 goals and seven assists in 26 Primeira Liga games, helping Benfica clinch the title then becoming the world's most expensive teenager when he joined Atletico in a deal worth £113m, signing a seven-year contract.

Why Mudryk is in demand

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Sky Sports reporter Mark McAdam provides a transfer update on Arsenal's pursuit of Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk

At the start of last season he was an unknown outside of Ukraine with a transfer value of under £1m. Now he is one of the most coveted young players in Europe. Following an explosive rise, Mykhailo Mudryk looks destined for big things.

The 21-year-old, who showcased his thrilling speed and one-on-one ability in the Champions League group stage earlier this season, has been described by Darijo Srna, Shakhtar Donetsk's director of football, as "the best player in Europe in his position" after Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior.

There may be a hint of exaggeration to that statement but Srna is not the only one to hold Mudryk in high regard. His list of suitors is a long one and Premier League leaders Arsenal sit at the top of it.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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