According to a report from Ukrainian outfit, Komanda, Arsenal and Shakhtar Donetsk have agreed a fee for defender Mykola Matviyenko.
The 23 year old was first linked last week, but it seemed as if the Gunners sights had turned towards Spaniard Pablo Mari. The Flamengo centre-half travelled to London with Technical Director Edu at the weekend, but despite undergoing a medical, returned to Brazil without signing for the club.
Discrepancies over the fee and the structure of the deal were cited, and it was hardly a positive sign that he went back to Rio less than two days after his arrival.
Matviyenko was reportedly a target for Man City, hence Mikel Arteta’s awareness of him, but if Arsenal are struggling to find a fee acceptable for Pablo Mari – a deal believed to be worth around €9m – it remains to be seen what they can work out with Shaktar.
Defensive reinforcements are already a must, but that issue was given greater significance following an injury last night to Shkodran Mustafi who was stretchered off in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup.
Arteta insisted it wouldn’t impact the club’s plans before the end of the transfer window on Friday evening, but if Mustafi’s injury is long-term it would leave him with just three centre-halves, making the need for recruitment even more pressing.
Let’s see what Raul and Co come up with before 11pm on Friday. As for the latest update on Matviyenko, we can’t speak to the credibility of the source, but time till tell.