Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly set to battle it out for the signing of Ukrainian international Mykola Shaparenko.
As per a report from football website CaughtOffside, Ukrainian international Mykola Shaparenko is attracting serious interest from the Premier League, with arch-rivals Arsenal and Manchester United poised to go head-to-head to sign the attacking midfielder this summer.
Shaparenko joined Dynamo Kyiv’s youth setup in 2015 and made his first-team debut for the club two years later in November 2017 under Aleksandr Khatskevich. The 20-year-old went on to feature 21 times in his debut season, scoring one goal and setting up two more across all competitions.
Shaparenko stepped it up a notch in his second season with the senior team, as he ended the 2018-19 campaign with a decent return of 8 goals and 3 assists from 33 matches in all competitions, carving out a reputation for himself as a talented young attack-minded player with immense potential.
This rise to stature over the past couple of seasons has registered Shaparenko on the radars of several clubs across Europe, with Premier League duo Arsenal and Manchester United being the biggest names among the list of potential suitors.
Arsenal are in the market for new additions to their midfield department, having seen Aaron Ramsey join Juventus on a free transfer this summer after the expiry of his contract. The fact that they are also reportedly considering offloading Henrikh Mkhitaryan could force them into bringing in a new attacking midfielder before the next season.
Having seen one of their targets Christopher Nkunku join RB Leipzig, the Gunners could turn their focus towards a player of a similar profile, which Shaparenko fits. The Ukrainian is young, has plenty of potential and wouldn’t cost Arsenal much, which would be an advantage given their tight transfer budget.
Manchester United too are keen on a new signing in the midfield as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeks another creative presence in the middle of the park. Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes has been their primary transfer target all summer and they seem to be closing in on signing him from Sporting Lisbon.
Even if Fernandes ends up signing for Manchester United, under Solskjaer the Red Devils are trying to build for the future, as seen by their recruitments of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, which could explain their interest in the talented Shaparenko. West Ham United are also interested in the 20-year-old as per the report.
Signing Shaparenko, who is contracted with Kyiv till 2023, wouldn’t address either clubs’ need of a new attacking midfielder. The four-time capped Ukrainian international would find it difficult to get a work permit in England. Hence, if either of Arsenal or Manchester United do end up signing him, they would have to loan him out for the next season.