Exclusive - Everton, West Ham, Wolves and newly promoted Leeds are the Premier League sides interested in signing Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko. But there are a number of clubs across Europe who are also keeping an eye on the Ukraine international.
Matviyenko is a product of Shakhtar’s youth system and has been a first-team regular since 2018, following successful loans at fellow Ukrainian teams Karpaty and Vorskla. In 2019/20, he helped Shakhtar reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, having earlier played in the Champions League.
The 24-year-old is versatile enough to play at centre-back, his primary position, and left-back and 90min understands that Everton, West Ham, Wolves and Leeds are all competing for his signature. He is believed to be available for close to £20m, which would make him a sizeable but still relatively affordable acquisition for the English quartet.
Arsenal were another side interested in Matviyenko prior to securing an agreement to sign Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille instead. The Gunners beat Napoli to the Brazilian’s signature and the Serie A club have now turned their attention to Matviyenko as a result.
Napoli are in the market for a centre-back because current star defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been given permission to leave and is of serious interest to Manchester City.
But not only are Napoli a potential rival for Matviyenko, Monaco, RB Leipzig and even newly crowned European champions Bayern Munich are also looking at him closely.
The level of interest suggests that any club with serious intentions of signing Matviyenko ahead of the transfer deadline in October will have to present themselves as an attractive opportunity to the player, who may very well have the opportunity to pick the offer that most appeals.
Matviyenko has already started the 2020/21 season with Shakhtar, playing at left-back in an opening day Ukrainian Premier League win over Kolos Kovalivka and a loss in the Ukrainian Super Cup at the hands of domestic rivals Dynamo Kyiv.