Shakhtar Donetsk will donate more than £20 million of the transfer fee received by Mikhailo Mudryk to Ukrainian soldiers.

The 22-year-old striker joined Chelsea for £88m on Sunday after the Blues made a late move to hijack a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Shakhtar stood firm in negotiations for the highest possible fee and a portion will now go to “soldiers, defenders and their families” in the ongoing defense against the Russian invasion.

“I want to thank the entire civilized world for helping Ukraine,” club president Rinat Akhmetov said in a statement.

“We can only talk about Ukrainian football because of the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people and the tremendous support we have had during this incredibly difficult time. And the only way we can defeat the evil that has come into our homes is by working together.

“I am donating $25 million (UAH 1 billion) of the transfer fee to help our soldiers, defenders and their families. The money will be used to cover different needs, from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support, to attending to specific requests. It will be managed by an independent professional team that will work with Azovstal advocates, their families, care providers and volunteers.

“This is the beginning of the Heart of Azovstal, a new project that will help the defenders of Mariupol and the families of fallen soldiers. His acts of bravery are unparalleled. And it is their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the first months of the war, providing the platform for the inevitable Ukrainian victory.”

Akhmetov also confirmed that Chelsea will face Shakhtar in a friendly in the Ukraine.

“I am happy for Mykhaylo and very proud of him. He has shown that talent and hard work can make the impossible possible. And I have no doubt that he will shine at Chelsea and throughout Europe, ”he added.

“On the other hand, I have never hidden that my dream is to win European trophies. This means that we need players like Mykhaylo in Ukrainian clubs, competing at the European level. Unfortunately, that is impossible at the moment, due to this unjust war that the Russian Federation is waging against us.

“But I am fully confident that we will defeat the aggressor. One of the things I look forward to the most after our victory is that Mykhaylo returns with his Chelsea team for a friendly match at the Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk.

“We must do everything possible to bring this day closer. We are in eternal debt to our soldiers!”

Mudryk joined Chelsea on Sunday


Mudryk appeared set to sign for London rivals Arsenal before a last-minute intervention by head of recruiting Paul Winstanley and co-owner Behdad Eghbali on Saturday saw the pair fly to Turkey to negotiate the deal.

He becomes the 14th first-team signing since Todd Boehly bought the club last year, spending a total of more than £350m during his brief reign.

Portugal international Joao Félix signed on loan from Atlético Madrid for around £9m as the club’s fourth January purchase last week, before being sent off on his Fulham debut on Thursday.

Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly have also arrived this season for significant transfer fees as Boehly set out to rebuild the Chelsea team.