Chelsea ‘ready to trump’ Arsenal over Mudryk as Arteta warns club ‘cannot waste any window’

Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal cannot waste any opportunity to strengthen their small squad as they seek to continue as the Premier League’s pacesetters.

The table-topping Gunners’ title charge suffered a minor setback on Tuesday as they missed the chance to move 10 points clear following a fractious goalless draw with Newcastle.

Manager Arteta has used only 12 players in his three starting XIs since the World Cup, with his options depleted by the injury absences of attacking duo Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe.

The Spaniard, who was furious not to be awarded two second-half penalties in the Magpies stalemate, says the club are working to recruit reinforcements this month.

“It’s something more for Edu (sporting director) and the board to respond to,” Arteta, who made just one substitution against Eddie Howe’s men, said of potential January arrivals.

“We are really trying to improve the squad in every window, this is no different.

“We will try to do our best because we cannot waste any window. We’re still with the squad and the numbers that we had (at the start of the season) but we will try.”

Mykhaylo Mudryk remains their top target but reports suggest they’re set to have a second bid of £62m rejected by Shakhtar Donetsk, who are holding out for £88m.

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Darijo Srna, Shakhtar’s director of football, is said to be in England for talks over the coming days and will talk to both Arsenal and Chelsea, who are also interested.

Indeed the Independent claim ‘Chelsea have made it clear they will trump any Arsenal offer’ and the only stumbling block for the Blues is Mudryk himself, who currently prefers the idea of a move to Arsenal.

Todd Boehly and the Chelsea hierarchy remain “bullish” about transfer business and are ready to take rivals on in the market and “blow them out of the water” where necessary.

The report adds that ‘it is anticipated that this could be a January window almost as active as the summer’ when they spent £270m on new players.

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