Premier League club Arsenal have reportedly agreed to a deal to sign Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko before the transfer window closes on Friday. The defender will be Arsenal’s first signing since manager Mikel Arteta took charge last month, according to reports in Ukraine.
The report also claims that the Gunners are to decide whether to sign him or Pablo Mari, whose deal to join Arsenal is on the verge of collapse. Matviyenko is a centre-back and he has featured 14 times in the Ukrainian Premier Liga for Shakhtar this season, as well twice facing Manchester City in the Champions League.
However, according to Sky Sports, Arsenal would need to spend £30million to land the 26-time Ukraine international this month and it is reported that an agreement has been met. Also, the report added that terms and fees have ‘already been settled’.
Arsenal are also being linked with Flamengo defender Mari. A deal for the Spaniard is not done, with the club wanting him on loan and Flamengo wanting a sale. The 26-year-old had since fly back to Rio de Janeiro after his club called off negotiations with the Gunners.
The Spaniard is, however, pushing for the transfer to be revived after a Flamengo director alleged that Arsenal have changed the terms of agreement between the two clubs. Mari had undergone his medical with Arsenal and technical director Edu Gaspar was ready to sign the defender on loan with view to a permanent £7.5million deal.
The Spanish 26-year-old was a vital part of Flamengo’s double-winning season in 2019, helping the Brazilian side to the league title and Copa Libertadores triumph. He was also part of the squad that lost 1-0 to Liverpool after-extra-time in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Mari spent three years on the books with Manchester City between 2016 and 2019 while Arteta was Pep Guardiola’s assistant. The defender did spend all three seasons out on loan at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna and did not make a first-team appearance for City before joining Flamengo last summer.
New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is desperate to add some steel to his defence after some defensive errors at the back which has cost the team some points this season. Calum Chambers’ long-term injury and David Luiz’s three matches suspension following his red card against Chelsea on Tuesday night has fast-tracked the club’s search for a new defender.
Also, the stuttering form of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis – along with Rob Holding returning from a serious injury – has exacerbated the situation, prompting a need to act quickly with just one week left of the window. Meanwhile, it is reported that Mari is already had his head turned by the prospect of returning to England. The 26-year-old’s family also wants to return to Europe, which has helped push the transfer over the line.