Mikel Arteta has discussed Arsenal’s reported interest in Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko, as well as the prospect of new arrivals at the Emirates before the closure of the transfer deadline.
Arsenal have been linked with the signing of a new centre-back this month to bolster their defensive options, the club lacking depth and having struggled defensively so far this season.
Reports this week emerged that the Gunners were interested in a deal for Shakhtar’s Matviyenko, the 23-year-old having impressed Arteta during his performances for the Ukrainian side in the Champions League against former club Manchester City earlier this season.
The north London side would prefer a temporary deal having seen Callum Chambers ruled out for the remainder of the season, though Luis Castro’s side are believed to be demanding £30m for a player who has won 20 caps for Ukraine.
Shakhtar Donetsk want £30m for Arsenal target Mykola Matviyenko. His agent says the clubs are in talks about a deal for the centre back. Matviyenko played twice against Man City this season when Mikel Arteta was assistant coach there. Arsenal want a centre back but prefer loan
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) January 23, 2020
Despite the links, Arteta was coy on reports linking Matviyenko with an imminent switch to the Premier League, and says the club are continuing to monitor players in different positions ahead of the closure of the transfer window next week.
“I don’t know,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “I’m not going to be discussing any transfer links publicly. It’s something we’re trying to do internally. When we have news we will communicate with you guys.
“We’ve been looking at different positions,” Arteta added. “Since I joined we lost Calum [Chambers] and we had other circumstances and injuries in those positions. At the back we’ve been short. Other positions as well, depending on what happens in the market, we might need to assess.”
When pressed on whether there would be new arrivals before the end of the month, Arteta admitted prospective deals are ‘complicated’ and says additions will only be made if they are the right players to take the club forward.
“At the moment I am 50:50 because this transfer [window] is very, very complicated. I only want to bring somebody in if I’m really convinced he can improve the levels we have.”