Arsenal fans could never have imagined this time last week that Henrikh Mkhitaryan would be a Gunner by the end of the January transfer window.
But that now appears to be a very realistic possibility as negotiations continue between the north London outfit and Mkhitaryan’s representatives.
Alexis Sanchez is waiting to complete his move to Manchester United but that deal will only be finalised if Arsenal can successfully reach an agreement with Mkhitaryan over personal terms.
Per the Mirror, the Armenia international wants a pay rise on his current £150,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford.
Moreover, he also wants a “golden handshake” from United, while his agent Mino Raiola is seeking a huge agent commission fee in excess of £5 million.
In any case, this isn’t going to be a cheap deal for Arsenal and there’s still a real chance that Mkhitaryan’s move to the Emirates Stadium will fail to materialise.
This, in turn, would scupper Sanchez’s move to Old Trafford, where the club’s iconic number seven shirt has been reserved for him.
What Mkhitaryan said about Arsenal in 2009
However, interesting quotes have emerged from 2009 which suggest Mkhitaryan might be more open to becoming a Gunner than we first realised.
UEFA ran a feature on Mkhitaryan, who was then plying his trade for FC Pyunik in his native Armenia, and there’s a section titled ‘Arsenal Fan’.
"My favourite team is Arsenal,” Mkhitaryan, aged 20 at the time, revealed.
"I like their attacking play and fast style. Moreover, Arsène Wenger puts faith in young players while demanding results at the same time. I like that and want to play there one day."
Although nine years have passed since these comments were made, perhaps Mkhitaryan still has a soft spot for the Gunners.
His opinion about Wenger may have changed since then
You couldn’t blame the guy, though, if his opinion about Wenger had changed since then.
The majority of Arsenal fans have lost faith in the veteran Frenchman over the past couple of seasons and it increasingly appears that the game has now passed him by.
However, with Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malcom all in contention to join the Gunners before the transfer window closes, perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to write off the beleaguered 68-year-old.
Arsenal fans: do you want Henrikh Mkhitaryan? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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