Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has warned ‘players will decide where they want to play’ as the club pursue a January transfer for Mykhailo Mudryk.
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The Premier League leaders have made the Shakhtar Donetsk player their main target this month as Arteta seeks enforcements to improve his team’s title charge.
Mudryk has reportedly agreed a five-year contract to join the Gunners with the winger making no secret of his desire to join the club.
While Chelsea have also entered the fray, his preference remains a move to the Emirates despite Shakhtar director Darijo Srna meeting with officials from Stamford Bridge this week.
Arsenal saw an opening bid worth up to £35.5m up front plus another £17.7m in add-ons rejected by the Ukrainian side this month.
They are believed to have returned with a second offer but one that still falls short of Shakhtar’s valuation which is in the region of the £85m.
Arteta has remained silent on Arsenal’s transfer activity this month but amid claims Mudryk is ready and waiting to complete the move, he says players will ultimately always get the move they want.
‘No updates,’ Arteta said at a press conference on Saturday, when asked for the latest on Mudryk, before adding: ‘At the end of the day, players decide where they want to play.’
Mudruk is set to join up with his Shakhtar teammates at a training camp as they get ready for the resumption of the Ukrainian top flight.
Back at the Emirates, Arteta is hopeful of bolstering his options with the return of Emile Smith Rowe.
The midfielder has not played since September after suffering a groin injury which needed surgery but having returned to training, could be in contention to return in the FA Cup tie against Oxfgord on Monday.
‘We need him fit and at his best,’ Arteta said. ‘When we have that we have an incredible player that we have missed a lot. If he trains tomorrow, hopefully he will be able to give us something on Monday.’
After their game against Oxford, Arsenal will play Antonio Conte’s Tottenham in a big north London derby next Sunday.