SHAKHTAR DONETSK’s CEO has hit out at Arsenal’s conduct over Mykhailo Mudryk – and explained why Chelsea landed the star.
The two London clubs were locked in intense talks with the Ukrainian club over their young winger.
But Chelsea won out in the end and signed Mudryk in a deal worth £88m.
Mudryk, who was paraded to fans at half-time of Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace, has signed a mammoth eight-and-a-half year contract.
Shakhtar chief Sergei Palkin has spilled the beans on how the deal happened – and why he was not happy at the way Arsenal went about the deal.
Asked why pundits saw the Gunners as favourites for Mudryk, he told the Athletic: “It is because Arsenal contacted the player almost one and a half months before they contacted us.
“Can you imagine, for example, to have Mikel Arteta, Oleksandr Zinchenko and the sporting director (Edu) calling you, to have Arsenal calling you almost every day, every two days, every three days?
“Therefore, why did many people around it have the impression that Mudryk was going to Arsenal? It is because Arsenal contacted him and then Mudryk started to watch some games of Arsenal. But negotiations are negotiations.”
While the CEO confirmed he did not make any formal complaints, he did raise the issue with the Gunners’ negotiating team.
Palkin added: “When I met Arsenal and they mentioned they had already talked to the player and they had contacted the player, to be honest, I knew beforehand that they had started to contact him.
“I said, ‘OK, you start to contact him but first of all you should close it with us’. But OK, we have what we have.”
Palkin also revealed that both Arsenal and Chelsea offered the same “fixed” amount, but the Blues’ bonuses and add-ons were more tempting to Shakhtar.
The chief executive commended Chelsea’s “serious” approach and said he believed they are building “one of the best clubs in the world”.
He added: “Yes, we can talk about bonuses, but 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.”
The signing of Mudryk is the fifth acquisition of the window already for Chelsea.
The 22-year-old follows the loan move of Joao Felix and the permanent deals for Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos.