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Explained: Why Mudryk joined Chelsea over Arsenal despite clubs offering identical £89m transfer fee

10:40 AM WAT 17/01/2023
Mudryk-Chelsea-2023
Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin has explained how Chelsea beat Arsenal to the £89m ($109m) signing of Mykhailo Mudryk.
  • Cheslea sign Mudryk in £89m deal
  • Pipped Arsenal to the finish line
  • Shakhtar CEO explains why Chelsea triumphed

WHAT HAPPENED? After months of speculation, Mudryk's future was settled on Sunday, with Chelsea completing a deal to sign the Ukrainian hotshot ahead of Arsenal. Shakhtar CEO Palkin has now confirmed that both clubs offered the same transfer fee for the 22-year-old, telling The Athletic: "Overall, it was the same. Not approximately the same — it was the same figure. The fixed part, variable part, bonuses. But if you look inside the fixed part and bonuses, it was completely different."

WHY DID MUDRYK JOIN CHELSEA OVER ARSENAL? The Gunners' interest in Mudryk was made clear in the summer of 2022, and he reportedly agreed personal terms on deadline day, but the move failed to materialise. They returned for him this winter but failed with a bid at the beginning of the month before being edged out at the finish line by rivals Chelsea. Palkin went on to explain why Chelsea's final offer was "more serious" than Arsenal's with regards to the set up of bonuses. "Different time (schedule) of the payments, different kinds of bonuses," he said. "Yes, we can talk about bonuses, but these bonuses should be somehow achievable and realistic, let’s say. Therefore, in this case, Chelsea was much more serious and fair in some points."

The Shakhtar chief added on Chelsea's attractive project under Graham Potter: "We realised that, yes, if you look right now, Chelsea have some kinds of problems but it is normal because they have a transition period from one owner to another. It is understandable. They would like to change a lot. So when they explain to you the whole story and you look for the next two, three, four, five years, then you see they have a serious project. I believe they will build one of the best clubs in the world because I am telling you, they are very serious in all directions: sports science, the stadium side, the commercial side, on all things. For us, they looked very ambitious."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Palkin was also asked if Mudry's contract at Chelsea includes a Ballon d'Or clause, to which he replied: "Chelsea’s offer has no Ballon d’Or (clause). It is achievable bonuses that we feel, and they feel, can be reached. Maybe not this year but in the next two, three or four years."

Palkin did, however, confirm that Shakhtar will receive bonus payments if Mudryk wins the Premier League or Champions League during his time in west London. "Yes. It has these kinds of bonuses," he said.

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WHAT'S NEXT FOR MUDRYK: Mudryk might make his Chelsea debut when the Blues return to action in Premier League next Saturday at Anfield against fellow top-four hopefuls Liverpool.