Chelsea ‘put on UEFA watchlist’ as they sign Mykhaylo Mudryk for historic £88m fee | Football | Sport

Chelsea provided a surprise on Saturday evening as they moved quickly to hijack Arsenal’s pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk and swooped in to sign the winger for a reported £88million. The Blues under Todd Boehly have not been afraid to splash the cash, as the 22-year-old is set to become the fifth transfer of the window for Graham Potter’s side, as they languish in mid-table ahead of Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

Mudryk is set to become Chelsea’s second most-expensive signing of all-time, behind Romelu Lukaku, and the third most expensive of the Premier League era as Jack Grealish’s £100m move to Manchester City in 2021 leads the way. However, many have been puzzled over how Chelsea can continue to spend at their current rate.

Since Boehly and co took over at Stamford Bridge, they have spent over £400m in two windows, forcing many to take notice. In September, UEFA confirmed that Chelsea in addition to 18 other European clubs had been placed on a Financial Fair Play (FFP) watchlist.

A statement from the governing body named the Blues as one of the clubs in the 2021/22 season that were able to “technically fulfil the break-even requirement with the help of the application of the COVID-19 emergency measures and/or because they benefited from historical positive break-even results.”

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However, they look set to pay £62m up front for Mudryk, and a further £26m in add-ons to gazump Arsenal to a move. Mikel Arteta’s outfit were thought to be frontrunners for the forward’s signature as he had posted a series of hints on social media that he preferred a move to the Emirates this month, but Chelsea appear to have convinced him to join the Blue side of London after outbidding the Gunners.

Mudryk’s debut could come on next Saturday’s trip to Anfield as he would not be registered in time to face Crystal Palace on Sunday, even if his transfer is confirmed on Saturday night.

He will get the chance to play at the Emirates once this season, however, as Chelsea travel to Arsenal on April 23 at the tail-end of the campaign.