Newcastle United reportedly remain in the mix to sign Shakhtar Donetsk sensation Mykhaylo Mudryk, although are likely to face stiff competition for the youngster’s signature.
Reports back in September revealed that the Magpies were one of those who were reportedly tracking the Ukraine international, while fellow Premier League side Arsenal are also said to be “interested” at present, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The transfer guru suggested that the 21-year-old could command a fee in the region of €65m (£57m), while Shakhtar’s sporting director Carlo Nicolini has claimed that the asking price could be greater than the €100m (£86m) that Manchester United forked out on Brazilian winger Antony over the summer.
Amid that interest in the exciting forward, journalist Pete O’Rourke – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – has provided an update:
“For sure they’re in there. It’s going to be very hard, I think, for Newcastle to persuade Mudryk to move to St. James’ Park.
“I’m sure Mudryk will be looking to join one of Europe’s elite clubs right now with the form that he’s shown for Shakhtar, especially in the Champions League this season.
“So, he’s not going to be short of takers, you’ve got the likes of Arsenal and other clubs in the Premier League as well as clubs across Europe who I’m sure are interested in Mudryk.”
Mudryk has no doubt warranted such interest as a result of his sparkling form in his recent times, with the highly-rated “baller” – as described by journalist Sacha Pisani – notably catching the eye in the Champions League with three goals and two assists in six group stage games.
Two of those three strikes came against Scottish champions Celtic with the eight-cap ace proving a real thorn in the side of Ange Postecoglou’s men, having also showcased his quality domestically with nine goal involvements in just eight league games.
The explosive wide man – who now boasts 25 goal contributions in just 40 games in all competitions for his current side to date – could well be the man to help bolster Eddie Howe’s attacking options at St James’ Park, with the Tynesiders having been unable to bring in a new winger over the summer.
One man the northeast side had reportedly been tracking was Bayer Leverkusen gem Moussa Diaby, although a move for the Frenchman was ultimately shelved due to the potential fee and salary demands.
Turning to Mudryk could well be an ideal alternative to Newcastle’s summer target, with the two men seemingly sharing a number of statistical and stylistic similarities, as per FBref.
In the case of Diaby, the fleet-footed speedster notably ranks in the top 4% for assists and the top 3% for non-penalty goals among those in his position in Europe’s top five leagues, while his counterpart compares favourably as he ranks in the top 4% and the top 1% for the same two metrics, showcasing their ability to impact games in the final third.
Turning to the latter man may well be the better solution, however, with Mudryk having provided 14 goals and assists in just 14 games so far this term, while that man Diaby has ten goal involvements in 20 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.
While it may be a real challenge for Dan Ashworth and co to prise their highly-sought target from Ukraine, amid rival interest, it could well prove to be a worthwhile venture.