Manchester United have seen their first official bid for Borussia Dortmund star Henrikh Mkhitaryan rejected, reports The Mirror.
The Red Devils had hoped to agree a deal with the Bundesliga club worth £19million but have been informed that Borussia Dortmund have no intention of selling the Armenia international this summer.
That is despite the fact that Mkhitaryan only has one year left on his contract and has already confirmed he has no intention of signing a new one. However, it appears that Thomas Tuchel would rather lose the playmaker for nothing in 2017 than cash in now.
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Chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told ESPN: "We have been negotiating a new deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for four months. We now know he won't sign an extension. There was never a promise that he can 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."
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Despite Dortmund standing firm over Mkhitaryan's future, there has been a suggestion that the club will be willing to sell for a fee in excess of £25m. Manchester United certainly have the funds to match that asking price and are likely to launch a bigger bid in the coming days.
Not only that, but United's £19m bid was believed to have been made up of a number of installments and performance-related bonuses. Dortmund are in a position to demand more cash up front from the Premier League club, who have already blown £30m on Villarreal defender Eric Bailly this summer.
Jose Mourinho will be aware that his Premier League rival Arsene Wenger is also interested in Mkhitaryan, who scored 19 goals and assisted a further 25 in all competitions last season. Indeed, Arsenal's interest reportedly precedes that of United but the 27-year-old is believed to prefer a move to Old Trafford.
Nonetheless, the Gunners have been linked with a £25m bid themselves with Wenger showing he is not shy of spending big this summer. He has already spent £30m on midfielder Granit Xhaka and is hoping to seal a £20m deal for Leicester's Jamie Vardy.
Dortmund seem determined to keep their squad together after losing both Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan already this summer. Meanwhile, they are also struggling to keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has attracted the interest of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City.
While they have never shied away from selling established stars for the right price, Dortmund will be aware that letting too many first team players could have major implications for the next Bundesliga campaign.