Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi ‘keen to reunite with Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko’, with talks in progress about a possible January move to the Seagulls
- Brighton might move for Ukraine defender Mykola Matviyenko, a report claims
- Seagulls manager Roberto De Zerbi worked with the 26-year-old last season
- The Premier League side have money to spend after sale of Marc Cucurella
Brighton’s new manager Roberto De Zerbi is keen on reuniting with Mykola Matviyenko in January, after the pair worked together at Shakhtar Donetsk, according to a new report.
The Italian head coach joined the Ukrainian side in May 2021, and left in July of this year, overseeing an unfinished season as a result of the country’s conflict with Russia.
Matviyenko, who can play as a centre-half or as a left back, has been linked with a move to the Premier League before, most notably with Arsenal in 2020, before the Gunners opted for Pablo Mari.
Mykola Matviyenko of Shakhtar Donetsk is a likely target for Brighton in the January window
Now The Athletic have reported that talks are underway for Brighton to make a bid for the 26-year-old in January, for a fee of around £17.2million.
The Seagulls have money to invest in the squad after selling Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for £62m in the summer.
Matviyenko has played 54 times for the Ukrainian national side, including at Euro 2020, as well as 144 appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk.
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi spent a year at Shakhtar Donetsk before joining the Seagulls
De Zerbi will be keen to build his own squad after the departure of Graham Potter – and Brighton have been buoyed with their first win under the Italian manager by beating Potter’s Chelsea 4-1 on Saturday.
Brighton currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, ahead of games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa before the World Cup break.
De Zerbi oversaw just 30 games as Shakhtar Donetsk manager, while Matviyenko remains with the Ukrainian side as they play in a league disrupted by the ongoing crisis.
Matviyenko remains with Shakhtar as the Ukrainian Premier League is disrupted by conflict
Matviyenko came on as a substitute during Shakhtar’s Premier League match against Oleksandriia on Saturday, which was disrupted for over an hour due to an air raid siren going off, as previously reported in Sportsmail.
Shakhtar currently sit second in their domestic league, and can progress to the last-16 of the Champions League with a win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday evening.