Arsenal and Man City may miss out on Matviyenko as Brighton lead race

Premier League clubs smash transfer record with £1.9billion spend

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Brighton are reportedly keen to sign Shakhtar Donetsk central defender Mykola Matviyenko in the January transfer window – a player that both Arsenal and Manchester City have registered their interest in previously. The Seagulls have a significant advantage over their Premier League rivals if a bidding war does break out.

Since the departure of former manager Graham Potter to Chelsea, there has been a significant period of change on the south coast. Italian boss Roberto De Zerbi has entered the Amex Stadium dugout and been tasked with constructing his own backroom team.

De Zerbi has arrived at Brighton with a clear vision of how he wants his side to play, with the plan coming together perfectly against Potter’s Chelsea last weekend. And the former Sassuolo boss also has a clear vision regarding transfer targets.

According to The Athletic, De Zerbi wants to reunite with Matviyenko as soon as possible, having spent a short spell with him in Shakhtar before his time at the club was cut short due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League previously, though the De Zerbi link-up could prove attractive to the defender if other clubs emerge as admirers.

City were previously believed to be keeping tabs on Matviyenko whilst Mikel Arteta was at the club, with the Spaniard particularly fond of the defender. Thus, unsurprisingly, Arteta remained interested in signing the Ukraine international when he headed to Arsenal.

The Gunners are in no desperate need of defensive reinforcements currently, though Juventus remain desperate to sign Gabriel Magalhaes and his departure could lead to dominoes falling in that regard. Whether Matviyenko is still a target if that does occur remains to be seen.

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If Brighton do follow through with De Zerbi’s wishes then the arrival of Matviyenko could also prove to be bad news for Chelsea. The Blues are keen to open talks with the Seagulls over moves for Moises Caicedo and Leandro Trossard, who both shone against them previously and remain admired by Potter, despite the Seagulls being in no desperate need to sell other valuable assets.

One way that could have been seen as the ideal way to strike a deal for either player is by offering to make Levi Colwill’s loan from the club permanent.

However, the arrival of Matviyenko would mean that signing the England under-21s star could be deemed unnecessary given that they are both left-footed central defenders and would be contending for the same spot in De Zerbi’s plans.

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