Arsenal are in talks over a loan deal for Joao Felix but won’t conform to the present package demands set by stubborn Atletico Madrid chiefs. The Gunners still consider Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk to be their top January goal but newly-appointed sporting director Edu and Mikel Arteta are also going after Felix in an audacious swoop that will significantly bolster the club’s attacking options for the second half of the campaign.
Nevertheless, Atletico are currently demanding a considerable loan fee for Felix – regarded as value within the region of £13million – and that’s without considering the player’s £250,000-a-week wages.
The funds involved in any potential deal are currently considered excessive by Arsenal, who’ve asked super-agent Jorge Mendes to work on lowering the worth.
Mendes has been in Madrid holding face-to-face discussions with Atletico over the longer term of his client to find out whether the La Liga giants will soften their stance this month.
Manchester United are also within the frame and would love to sign Felix on loan this January after offloading his Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo following the mutual termination of his Old Trafford contract.
The Gunners are starting to lose patience with Shakhtar as they proceed to encourage an auction for star man Mudryk which Arsenal are usually not willing to entertain.
Transfer rivals Chelsea would love assurances the 22-year-old winger wants to hitch the club before formalising their interest.
Mudryk has continued to flirt with a move to Arsenal by liking a series of Gunners-related social media posts including one which read ‘free Mudryk’.
Shakhtar director of football Darijo Srna was at Stamford Bridge on Thursday to look at Chelsea’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City.
The previous Croatia right-back is known to have held talks with Todd Boehly over a deal for Mudryk as Chelsea look to battle Arsenal for the highly-rated Ukrainian attacker.
Arsenal are more likely to block any potential departures this month as Arteta already considers his title-chasing squad to be thin when it comes to numbers.
Cedric Shares was being eyed by Fulham and two European clubs however the Gunners could yet keep him in north London to make sure they’ve cover for Ben White at right-back.
The Gunners would love to usher in two latest faces this month but plans to sign a central midfielder and left-sided centre-back could now be shelved until the summer.