​Arsenal are planning a January swoop for Shakhtar Donetsk centre-back Mykola Matviyenko with Mikel Arteta previously recommending the player to Manchester City during his time at the club. 

The 23-year-old has made 21 appearances this season, including taking part in each of his side's group games in the Champions League. Shakhtar are in impressive form domestically and are currently 14 points clear at the top of the Ukrainian Premier League.


A big reason for their success has been the stoic performances of Matviyenko with his impressive form attracting the interest of Arsenal. A recent season-ending injury to Calum Chambers has made signing a defender a priority before the close of the winter transfer window at the end of the month.  

The player's agent has confirmed that the Gunners have been in contact over a January move for the defender. 

"My colleagues and I have been constantly in contact with representatives of the Arsenal, and have meetings," Yuriy Danchenko told a Ukrainian media outlet (via ​football.london).

Mykola Matviyenko

"The Gunners' hierarchy have already contacted [Shakhtar], and we hope that these negotiations will succeed."

Arsenal boss Arteta has admired Matviyenko for some time. According to ​Komanda, the Spaniard lobbied for the ​Citizens to make a move for the player during his time as Pep Guardiola's assistant manager.

Another centre-back believed to be on Arteta's radar is Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig and he could be available for a reduced fee due to the fact that his contract expires next summer. 

Mykola Matviyenko

The Gunners were similarly linked with ​Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng but have cooled their interest in the centre-back due to concerns over the 31-year-old's patchy form and injury record over the past few seasons.

A far more likely arrival is Paris Saint-Germain outcast Layvin Kurzawa who is close to agreeing terms to join the club on a ​free transfer in the summer.

For more from Matt O'Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!