Manchester United can expect their move for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to be finalised this weekend after upping their bid to a reported £33 million.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed that the Premier League club have made a “substantially improved” offer for the Armenian, with Dortmund chiefs set to discuss the bid this weekend.
It’s hard to imagine Dortmund turning down an offer that has risen from £19m. The Bundesliga club have squeezed as much out of United as they possibly could.
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Should the 27-year-old leave, he will become the third high-profile exit following the departures of Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City.
And they seem helpless to prevent Mkhitaryan leaving. His agent, Mino Raiola, has admitted his client has a strong desire to join United.
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If the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho wasn’t appealing enough, the £10m-a-year contract Mkhitaryan has been offered certainly hasn’t helped Dortmund’s cause.
Watzke outlined the plan to discuss United’s improved bid in an interview with German newspaper Funke Mediengruppe.
“Manchester United have substantially improved their offer,” Watzke said, per the Mirror.
"The situation has changed. There are always several aspects in such a decision. I have already contacted the appropriate people and we will weigh up all the pros and cons at the weekend.
"Then, the management will decide.
“As we start training on Monday, we will do that on the weekend, definitely.”
Mourinho's in charge
Mkhitaryan would become Mourinho’s second signing following the arrival of Eric Bailly from Villarreal earlier in the month. And with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba on the shopping list, it’s clear that Mourinho has been given free reign to build his perfect squad.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the former Chelsea boss has the final say on all transfer dealings and is planning to erase any memory of Louis van Gaal by selling two of the Dutchman’s signings, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
And fans wouldn’t be surprised - or overly disappointed - to see any of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Memphis Depay - four more players Van Gaal was responsible for - leave in the summer.
Mourinho might admire the power but the responsibility on his shoulders is enormous.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League - something United have done in two of the past three seasons - would be classed as a disappointment and would further impact a reputation that was hurt by his final season at Stamford Bridge.