Chelsea's Mykhailo Mudryk deal would have been tricky under Roman Abramovich – Shakhtar Donetsk CEO

New Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk holds the Ukrainian flag as he is unveiled to fans on the pitch during half-time of the Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace on 15 January, 2023 at Stamford Bridge in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea (opens in new tab) probably wouldn't have been able to strike their mega-money deal for Mykhailo Mudryk if they were still owned by Roman Abramovich, says the CEO of Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Blues signed the Ukraine winger on Sunday for an initial £62m – potentially rising to £89m with add-ons – but Shakhtar chief Sergei Palkin isn't convinced that such a move would have been possible during the Abramovich era.

Todd Boehly and his consortium completed their takeover of the Blues in May, after Abramovich – who was already planning on selling the club – had been sanctioned by the British government for having "clear connections" to the regime of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who invaded Ukraine almost a year ago.

And Palkin has described the Mudryk transfer as 'symbolic' of the special bond that's been fostered between Ukraine, the UK and Boehly's native USA since the war began. He told talkSPORT (opens in new tab):

"Yes, it's very symbolic. I can tell you more: if, for example, [Chelsea] was still run by Roman Abramovich, I'm not sure we could even negotiate and close this deal."

Chelsea beat London rivals Arsenal (opens in new tab) to secure the services of Mudryk – who has penned an incredible eight-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge – and the 22-year-old was unveiled to fans on the pitch at half-time of Sunday's 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace.

The 'Ukrainian Neymar' could make his Blues debut when Graham Potter's side face Liverpool (opens in new tab) at Anfield on Saturday.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...