Shakhtar Donetsk coach Igor Jovicevic is desperate to see Mykhaylo Mudryk stay at the Ukrainian giants despite the winger publically admitting his interest in a move to Premier League giants Arsenal, speaking to the club’s official website. 

With Shakhar playing their final game of 2022 on Wednesday, the nature of the post-match discussion felt as inevitable as a crate of tangerines being sent sprawling across the street during a Hollywood car chase. 

Was this Mykhaylo Mudryk’s final appearance in the orange and black stripes?  

The jet-heeled Ukraine international is making no attempt to hide his desire to join one of Europe’s big hitters in the New Year. Mudryk has already indicated that he’d choose an upwardly-mobile Arsenal side over the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. 

Photo by Mikolaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shakhtar Donetsk and Ukraine winger Mykhaylo Mudryk hoping for Arsenal move

“Was this Mudryk’s last match for Shakhtar? The management will decide what to do when there is an option to sell a player; the team’s star. As a coach, of course, I want such a player to play as long as possible for the team. So that a quality team is built around him,” Jovicevic says. 

Mudryk admitted last week that he was ‘very upset’ to learn that Shakhtar had slapped an £85 million asking price on his head. A fee, he fears, could scupper his hopes of a January departure. 

But, as former Dinamo Zagreb coach Jovicevic is keen to point out, another few months, or even another few years, at Shakhtar would not be the worst thing in the world. Mudryk, at the age of just 21, has plenty of time on his side. 

“Dinamo had several players, for example, Josko Gvardiol and the Spaniard Dani Olmo. Each of them played at least 100 matches for the club. And only then moved to an intermediate club, not immediately to Barcelona and Manchester City,” adds Jovicevic. 

“This is one small example of how to properly build your career. So that you reach the highest level already ready.” 

‘I would probably choose Arsenal’

Mudryk, who recently played down reports of a potential move to Newcastle United, has eight assists and 10 goals to his name this season. He scored in what could be a farewell appearance against Vorskla Poltava in midweek. 

“I check on Arsenal and know when they’re playing,” says Mudryk.

“I also watch them too. (Arsenal are) a very dynamic side. From a purely theoretical, fantasy perspective, if there was the option of being a bench player for Real Madrid or a starter for Arsenal, I’d probably choose Arsenal.”

Mudryk has been dubbed the third-best left-winger in Europe. According to Shakhtar director Darijo Srna, only Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr are better on current form.

“If someone wants to buy the Mudryk, they have to pay huge, huge, huge money. Otherwise, the president of the club will not sell him,” Croatia legend Srna tells The Athletic.

“All clubs must respect the president, and respect Shakhtar. And, in the end, respect Mykhailo Mudryk, who is one of the best players I have seen. That’s why the price is so high. 

“Antony and (Jack) Grealish are players with a price of more than 100 million euros. In my opinion, Mudryk is no less a quality player than they are. And there was the transfer of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United.  

“These are the latest transfers in more or less the same positions. We only want respect. The market determines the price, not me. It shows which players are worth such money.” 

Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

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