Exclusive: How Chelsea beat Arsenal to Mudryk transfer, Man Utd transformation + more – Fabrizio Romano

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Good morning everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of my exclusive Daily Briefing. Enjoy! 🙂


Arsenal have missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk – so, what went wrong?

The player’s priority was Arsenal. Arsenal made a third bid on Thursday, but Chelsea’s bid on Saturday for big money and big wages for the player and this strong approach has seen them win the race.

Arsenal could not guarantee €100m for Mudryk, but this was always Shakhtar’s position. Shakhtar made it clear to Mudryk that this was their position, and so they told him that if he doesn’t accept the move to Chelsea he will not be able to move.

I think Arsenal have a very clear strategy. I’m told they don’t want to overpay or enter into crazy bidding wars. It was like that for Dusan Vlahovic, Raphinha, Lisandro Martinez… they did their best to sign Mudryk, a great bid; Chelsea decided to go really strong on it so Arsenal to respect their strategy and vision have decided to not change anything.

I think if they’re first in Premier League and changed their situation in just one year, it’s also thanks to clear ideas and vision. Of course they lost a big target and a top player but they don’t panic. I don’t want to speculate on targets right now, but for sure they will explore the market and then I’ll let you know.

Mykhaylo Mudryk is joining Chelsea

Onto other possible targets, a summer move is very possible for Yunus Musah. Inter, Chelsea and Arsenal are following him closely, but then it’s still January so let’s see if some other clubs will join the race in the next months. His price was around €40m in December but let’s see in the summer, too early to say now.

Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz are closing in on the loan signing of Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, now on loan at Crewe. I’ve been told the deal is now almost done. Okonkwo, doing great at Crewe with 10 clean sheets and ready for the next step.

In other news, Arsenal could be back in for Raphinha after missing out on Mudryk, according to this report from the Evening Standard.


I understand Memphis Depay will be leaving Barcelona in this transfer window. The decision has been made, he’ll try a new experience if all goes to plan. Negotiations with Atletico Madrid are ongoing. Memphis is open to joining Atleti, but it’s still not agreed between all parties.

Bayer Leverkusen

Official, confirmed. Noah Mbamba now joins Bayer Leverkusen with immediate effect from Club Brugge on a contract valid until June 2028. Huge move for top talent — deal was signed for June as free agent but now anticipated after an agreement between the clubs.


Leandro Trossard could be on the move, he wants to leave Brighton. Tottenham are following the player, but there are no concrete talks yet, nor am I aware of anything from other clubs at the moment.


Burnley have made an opening proposal for Jenson Seelt. First bid was €1m plus €1m in add-ons but PSV Eindhoven refused. PSV have made a counter proposal in order to get the deal done.

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What a crazy 24 hours for Mykhaylo Mudryk, who is now heading to Chelsea. As I reported yesterday, it’s ‘here we go’ for Mudryk to Chelsea, with the Blues beating Arsenal to the deal with a €100m package. The Ukraine international is now in London preparing for his medical today. He will also be in attendance at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea’s game against Crystal Palace.

Mudryk’s priority was to join Arsenal, but Graham Potter spoke to the player directly and had a big impact. Now the contracts are all agreed, he’ll sign a long-term deal valid until 2030.

Chelsea have decided to act very fast as they feel they needed extra energy in that position, especially after injuries. I think Mudryk is an incredible talent, so it’s always a good idea for any club, even for a very big fee.

Talks with Noni Madueke and Marcus Thuram continue but of course, after Mudryk it will be time to make a decision on offensive players; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can’t play in any other European club this second half of season, for Hakim Ziyech they will consider permanent bids but it’s still quiet as of now.

Arsen Zakharyan to Chelsea is still on, but for the moment they have different priorities. Still, the Blues have an interest in him and he would love to join.


Official. Everton have recalled Niels Nkounkou from his loan at Cardiff City and loaned him out again, this time to Saint-Etienne. The loan will be valid until the end of the current season.

Leeds United

After completing the signing of Georginio Rutter, Leeds will decide how to proceed on Azzedine Ounahi. Initial talks took place days ago with the player’s side and with Angers. There are many clubs interested in Ounahi, including Napoli, who offered €15m days ago. PSG will not sign him.


I understand Liverpool fans will be concerned, but Jurgen Klopp is safe at the moment, he’s 100% working with the club for present and future. As for transfers, the midfielder situation remains open until the end of the market, Liverpool keep exploring options to find an opportunity while Jude Bellingham remains the priority for June.

Jurgen Klopp: “It’s fully my responsibility, we have to sort these problems. We have limited options at the moment. We have to find a solution.”

Manchester United

What a result for Manchester United as they won the Manchester Derby yesterday. I think Erik ten Hag is doing a special job. He spoke face to face to many players like Marcus Rashford since day one, he changed the mentality in the dressing room. Players like Diogo Dalot are now on another level. He’s doing incredible, the players love working under Ten Hag. Of course it will take time to be at super level again but Man United are back on track thanks to the manager and clear rules.

Manchester United are done for January, unless Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaves, in which case they will look to sign a new backup right-back. Ten Hag is happy with this current squad, with the atmosphere at the club, so they don’t have a big desire to change things.

Bruno Fernandes: “We used to be individuals… now we are a team, you can see a proper team that works for each other.”

Bruno Fernandes celebrates for Man Utd

Real Betis

Brazilian LB Abner will join Real Betis to replace Alex Moreno. He’s now flying to Europe as Atletico Paranaense will get €7m plus add-ons. Abner has agreed personal terms on a long term deal — Atletico Paranaense will keep 30% future sale.


Tottenham are in contact with intermediaries for Pedro Porro, the player would love to join Spurs but Sporting keep asking €45m release clause. Despite links with Chelsea, I’m only aware of Tottenham negotiation at the moment, not of other clubs as of now.


A summer move for Yunus Musah is very possible. Inter, Chelsea and Arsenal are following him closely, then it’s still January so let’s see if some other club will join the race. Price was around €40m in December but let’s see in the summer, too early to say now.

More Stories Arthur Okonkwo Azzedine Ounahi Fabrizio Romano Georginio Rutter Marcus Thuram Memphis Depay Mykhaylo Mudryk Noni Madueke Pedro Porro Raphinha Yunus Musah


  1. With the best footballers like L. Messi C. Ronaldo and all the rest they still lost so it is no difference from loosing Mudryk to Chelsea one thing is to buy player another is to make the player feel happy and better Arsenal did not start with Mudryk and will not end with him so we continue Arsenal are young players that are growing with many potentials at least they are going to make a name for themselves whether with Mudryk or without

  2. Isn’t this exactly what Chelski said they would do, beat any offer we made for him? I’m glad we had the guts to walk away. It shows strength not weakness.

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