Chelsea have confirmed the capture of long-term Arsenal target Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in a sensational deal thought to be worth over £88million.
The 22-year-old has put pen to paper on an eight-and-a-half year contract at Stamford Bridge and wasted little time expressing his delight at finally securing a Premier League switch.
Mudryk told the club’s website: “I’m so happy to sign for Chelsea. This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career.
“I’m excited to meet my new team-mates and I’m looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff.”
The Gunners had been pursuing the Ukrainian starlet for many months, with an agreement thought to have been reached between the two camps on everything but the final transfer fee.
And with negotiations reaching an impasse, the Blues seized their opportunity yesterday, sending co-owner Behdad Eghbali and director of global transfers Paul Winstanley to Turkey where Shakhtar are currently training.
Chelsea’s willingness to pay the full asking price meant talks progressed quickly and saw Mudryk travel back to West London on the club’s private jet to complete a medical last night.
It is a deal that will sting for Mikel Arteta, with significant time and effort having gone into ltrying to lure Mudryk to the Emirates.
The player had even been teasing a move to North London on his social media channels, liking posts from Arsenal fan accounts using the hashtag #FreeMudryk and posting videos of himself watching Arsenal matches.
Mudryk had also described Arteta as a “top coach” but will now hope to help under-fire Potter turn a disastrous season around at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and the club’s co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali said in a joint-statement: “We are delighted to welcome Mykhailo to Chelsea.
“He’s a hugely exciting talent who we believe will be a terrific addition to our squad both now and in the years to come.
“He will add further depth to our attack and we know he’ll get a very warm welcome to London.”
The Blues took the unusual move of announcing the signing midway through the first half of their Premier League home game with Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.