The pursuit of Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be nearing a conclusion.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been going head-to-head to sign the Borussia Dortmund playmaker and reports are emerging that he has made up his mind.
And it’s good news for Jose Mourinho.
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According to the Manchester Evening News, Mkhitaryan would prefer to move to Old Trafford as Dortmund’s seemingly annual rotation of stars continues.
The Bundesliga club have already seen Mats Hummels depart for Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan leave for Manchester City, and now Mkhitaryan looks set to join the German midfielder in the Premier League.
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The Times’ reporter Paul Hirst claims the Armenian has already told Dortmund that he wants to leave, with his interest in United reciprocated by the Red Devils.
His agent, Mino Raiola, confirmed the report.
“Man Utd is a unique opportunity, Micki wants to go there,” Raiola said, per the Manchester Evening News.
Dortmund want Mkhitaryan to stay
Despite United’s interest in the 27-year-old, Dortmund are not yet resigned to the thought of Mkhitaryan leaving.
The player’s contract expires in 2017 and the Bundesliga club have tried in earnest to convince him to sign an extension.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild, per The Guardian: “We have been negotiating with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for four months for him to extend his contract with us.
“Now we know that it is not extended, it was never our commitment that Mkhitaryan may leave us prematurely. We have intensely discussed the question of an early transfer in all club bodies and came to the conclusion that Mkhitaryan will stay in Dortmund next season.”
So whether or not Dortmund will cash in this summer remains to be seen. United are reported to have made a bid of €24 million for Mkhitaryan, who scored 18 goals and assisted 20 last season as Thomas Tuchel’s side finished behind Bayern.
Raiola: bad management
Raiola called Dortmund’s attempts to keep Mkhitaryan for one more season “bad management”.
“Micki has for months maintained that he may leave the club this summer,” the agent said, per The Guardian.
“Dortmund presented an official offer which was rejected, but now the BVB bosses fear of their own fans. Suddenly they tell Micki, that he should go next season on a free transfer. This is very bad management.”
Raiola also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is reportedly close to signing for United. Sky Sports reported yesterday that a medical has been pencilled in for when the Swede returns from Euro 2016.
But it appears that he’ll have to work a lot harder to get Mkhitaryan to Old Trafford. Mkhitaryan and United may have their sights set on each other but Dortmund are keen to stand in the way.