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Mikel Arteta recommended Mykola Matviyenko to Manchester City before Arsenal began talks with Shakhtar Donetsk for the defender, according to reports in Ukraine. The Gunners are in the market for a new centre-back and have started negotiations with Shakhtar over a potential deal for Matviyenko, according to the player’s agent. ‘Recently, my colleagues and I have been constantly in contact with representatives of the Arsenal, and have had meetings,’ Matviyenko’s agent, Yuriy Danchenko, told Ukrainian media this week. ‘The Gunners’ hierarchy have already contacted [Shakhtar], and we hope that these negotiations will succeed.’
Matviyenko has previously been linked with a move to Manchester City, and according to Ukrainian outlet TEAM1, it was Arteta who constantly pushed for the Premier League champions to sign him. The report claims that for two years, Arteta personally proposed for City to snap up Matviyenko and it is the Spaniard who is now keen for Arsenal to recruit the 23-year-old. Arteta has already seen Matviyenko in action twice this season when Shakhtar played Manchester City in the Champions League.
But Shakhtar have set a £30 million asking price for Arsenal to sign Matviyenko before the end of the January transfer window. The Gunners have also targeted RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano but the Bundesliga club are reportedly holding out for a £70m transfer fee.