Chelsea are playing down their level of interest in Mykhailo Mudryk and have been surprised by their strong links with the Shakhtar Donetsk winger, according to reports.
The 21-year-old is Arsenal’s top target for the January window and the Gunners have already submitted two offers which have fallen short of Shakhtar’s £85 million valuation.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have also made made an approach to Shakhtar about signing Mudryk this month and hosted the Ukrainian club’s director, Darijo Srna, at Stamford Bridge last week.
And The Telegraph’s Matt Law has revealed that Chelsea’s interest in Mudryk is not as advanced as many believe.
‘The Mudryk one, from what I gather, is more at the moment exploratory,’ Law said of Chelsea’s interest in Mudryk on the London Is Blue podcast.
‘They want to know what the deal is with Mudryk, they want to know how far down the line it is or isn’t with Arsenal. They want to know what the asking price is.
‘I think the asking price is something like £88 million, I don’t think Chelsea have any intention of ever bidding £88m for him.
‘I think there’s a little bit of surprise around the [Chelsea] ownership that so much has been made of the interest in Mudryk. I think they just see it as being exploratory, a bit of due diligence – is this guy available, how much is he, what’s the situation? They’re looking at him.
‘I know for a fact that in their dream scenario this window they would buy a back-up right-back to Reece James, they would buy a midfielder and a winger.’