Mykhailo Mudryk has continued his flirtations with Arsenal by uploading a picture to Instagram which features a video of him wearing the Gunners’ kit.
The north Londoners have been trying to sign the Ukrainian winger since the summer but Shakhtar Donetsk have played hardball and are adamant he will not be allowed to leave unless their mammoth valuation is met.
Sporting director Darijo Srna has made it clear that Shakhtar value Mudryk at a similar price point to Manchester United winger Antony, who cost £84million when he moved to Old Trafford.
So far, Arsenal’s opening two offers for the 22-year-old have fallen well short of that valuation and talks are dragging, with Mudryk joining Shakhtar on their warm-weather training camp in Turkey this week.
All parties had wanted the situation to be resolved before then and the attacker looked a little peeved during a conversation with Srna at the training camp on Wednesday.
Although there had been speculation Chelsea could try and hijack the deal, Arsenal remain the clear frontrunners and are Mudryk’s preferred destination – as he has made clear on countless occasions.
The young winger has uploaded a host of pictures to Instagram in recent weeks commenting on Arsenal matches, writing ‘two top coaches’ to describe both Mikel Arteta and ex-Shakhtar boss Roberto De Zerbi when the Gunners took on Brighton recently.
He also uploaded a compilation video to Instagram which featured a song from 21 Savage and featured the lyric, ‘Still gotta see the Gunners win Premier League’, while he has been spotted liking ‘free Mudryk’ posts on social media.
Now, on Thursday, he appeared to upload an innocent enough image showing his cat watching him on TV, writing: ‘My biggest cheerleader’.
But eagled-eyed Arsenal fans noticed that the video being played on the television screen showed Mudryk photoshopped into an Arsenal kit.
In the mocked up video, a reporter is also heard saying, ‘How much will Mudryk earn at Arsenal?’
Arsenal are thought to have already agreed personal terms with the winger while talks with Shakhtar over a fee are continuing, though the Ukrainian side have so far rejected the north London club’s payment structure.
At the end of last year, Mudryk spoke to Vlada Sedan – the wife of Oleksandr Zinchenko – about the interest from Arsenal and replied: ‘One surprise for me was how many Arsenal fans followed me.
‘No other club’s fans have interacted as much as them. Telling me that they are waiting for me, saying “Come to us”. One of my recent posts has over 500 comments saying that.’