Ukraine winger Mykhailo Mudryk became the latest big-money signing for Chelsea under the club’s new American ownership, joining from Shakhtar Donetsk on Sunday in a deal worth 100 million euros ($108 million) and on a remarkable 8 1/2-year deal.
The 22-year-old Mudryk, who was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, was pictured holding up a Ukraine flag inside Chelsea’s stadium before the Premier League game against Crystal Palace and posing for photos.
About 20 minutes into the match, Chelsea announced his signing and described him as ”one of the most dangerous attacking players in Europe in one-vs-one situations.”
”This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career,” Mudryk said. ”I’m excited to meet my new teammates and I’m looking forward to working and learning under Graham Potter and his staff.”
Britain’s Press Association reported that while Chelsea and Arsenal were believed to have offered a similar amount, the Blues have structured a deal which would see Shakhtar receive more money up front and with more favorable add-ons than those being negotiated with Arsenal.
Chelsea didn’t disclose the fee, but Shakhtar said in a statement it will receive 70 million euros ($75 million) and another 30 million euros ”as a bonus payment.”
”I am sure that Mykhailo will win respect, sympathy and love of all connoisseurs of world football with his speed, his technique, his impressive and beautiful play,” Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov said.
Mudryk, who has played just 65 club games across his career to date, had posted several Instagram messages seemingly suggesting he was keen on a move to Arsenal.
Chelsea moved quickly, though, to add him to the signings of Benoit Badiashile, David Fofana and Andrey Santos for a reported $70 million in the January window. Joao Felix has also joined on loan from Atletico Madrid.
Bringing in Mudryk is another bold move from the ownership, fronted by Todd Boehly, who oversaw the spending of around $300 million on new players – a record amount by an English team – in the summer transfer window.
”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,” said Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, Chelsea’s co-controlling owner. ”He will add further depth to our attack and we know he’ll get a very warm welcome to London.”
Mudryk plays predominantly as a left-sided attacker, where Chelsea already has strong depth in Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic and Felix, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can also play there.
Chelsea is 10th in the Premier League after winning just one of its previous nine league games before the visit of Palace.
The London club stands to lose tens of millions of euros (dollars) if it fails to qualify for the next Champions League. In the 2020-21 season, the most recent for which UEFA published prize money figures, Chelsea won the Champions League and got 120 million euros. Liverpool lost in the quarterfinals and got 88 million euros.
That same season in the second-tier Europa League, Arsenal reached the semifinals yet earned just 30 million euros from UEFA. Prize money has since risen from broadcast and sponsor deals for the 2021-24 seasons.
AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report.
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