Mykhaylo Mudryk has set the Champions League on fire this campaign, scoring two goals and providing two assists in two matches and helping lift Shakhtar Donetsk to second place in Group F. This involvement constitutes 80% goal participation in the UCL, and it can feel like even more than that watching him on the pitch.
In the Ukrainian Premier League, Shakhtar sit top of the table with four wins and a draw. Mudryk has had a rockier start there, effectively missing two matches with an early red card in the third match of the season and thus only playing over 45 minutes in three matches. Despite that, he has still recorded four assists, including a hat trick of assists in their most recent match, and he will prove to be instrumental in Shakhtar Donetsk’s attempt to repeat as champions of the Ukrainian Premier League.
The 21-year-old left winger has impressed scouts with his incredible dribbling ability combined with strong passing and finishing skills drawing the attention of many Premier League clubs, including Leeds United. This summer will likely bring about a bidding war between these clubs and Leeds will want to be in the mix. According to transfer insider, Dean Jones in a conversation with This is Futbol:
“Leeds have probably got as good a chance as anyone of convincing him that it’s a good place for him to land and show everybody what he’s capable of in the Premier League.”
However, Leeds will face heavy competition, as many Premier League clubs have shown interest. According to 90min, representatives from Brentford, Brighton, Everton, Leeds, Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves each attended Mudryk’s international match with Ukraine against Scotland last month. Those are likely just a sample of the EPL interest Mudryk has garnered.
Leeds reportedly showing interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and could launch a January move for Shakhtar star.— James Marshment (@marshyleeds) October 4, 2022
The Whites were among clubs to have scouts watching him play for Ukraine in Nations League match v Scotland, says 90min
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Despite this competition, Leeds’ ownership has the ability to cough up the necessary funds and showed last summer that they are willing to make a serious investment for the right player. Shakthar was offered a reported £25 million from Arsenal last summer and his valuation continues to climb. Shakhtar is reportedly hoping for as much as £50 million for a January transfer, which would be a transfer fee record for the Whites.
A final hurdle may be evidenced by an interview in May of this year where Mudryk told Sportarena he had rejected an offer from Brentford. He said:
“With all due respect, I definitely will not move to Brentford. This is a middleman of the Premier League, who does not participate in the European Cups - and for me, the most important moment is participation in the Champions League.”
This seems like it may be the toughest obstacle to overcome for Leeds. While there may be hope in the future of a return to Europe, right now the Whites may also fall into the “middleman” group in Mudryk’s eyes. Whether Leeds can put together a strong enough bid to persuade him is the question. Clearly, there is enough of a chance that Leeds are putting themselves out there and that someone like Jones thinks Leeds will be firmly in the mix.
Tonight, Mudryk and Shakhtar Donetsk take on reigning Champions League winners, Real Madrid. With a win, though a tall order, Shakhtar would go top of their group heading into the second round of matches.