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Decision made over Arsenal’s proposed £24m deal…and it’s not good news
It looks like a decision has finally been made over the future of Borussia Dortmund playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and unfortunately it isn’t good news for Arsenal on two accounts.
Mkhitaryan has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks with ESPN reporting recently that the Armenian international was Arsene Wenger’s next priority transfer target.
The Express then claimed that Arsenal had put forward a proposal to pay around £24m to sign the playmaker this summer with Arsene seemingly on the look out for a potential replacement for Theo Walcott – who’s been tipped to leave after losing his first team place.
Mkhitaryan has just one year remaining on his contract and Dortmund admitted they would make a decision over his future this week after he informed them that he wouldn’t be signing an extension.
Many assumed the German giants would cash-in this summer rather than lose Mkhitaryan for nothing in 12 months time, however, it appears the Bundesliga outfit have other ideas.
Chief executive Hanz-Joachim Watzke has been quoted by the Guardian as confirming that although Mkhitaryan won’t be signing a new deal, the club have decided to force him to see-out the final year of his contract next season:
“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.”
This is a very strange decision as Dortmund have previously made a big deal about how they didn’t want to lose any more key players for nothing after seeing Robert Lewandowski join Bayern Munich when his contract expired.
I wonder whether they are just playing a game to increase his price as I just don’t see them forcing Mkhitaryan to remain at the club. It rarely works out keeping a player against his will, especially one that has just 12 months left on his deal.
However, even if Dortmund do end up selling this summer, it looks like we could miss out as Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, has been quoted in the Mirror as saying that the playmaker wants to join Manchester United.
“Manchester United is a unique opportunity. Micki wants to go there.” Raiola said.
“Micki has for months maintained that he may leave the club this summer.
“Dortmund presented an official offer which was rejected, but now the Dortmund 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.”
So it’s a double blow. Not only are Dortmund saying they don’t want to sell but Mkhitaryan’s agent claims he wants to join Manchester United anyway.
It would be a huge blow to miss out on Mkhitaryan as he’d be a sensational signing who’d add a huge create threat in the final third having scored 23 goals as well as providing a ridiculous 32 assists last season.
However, let’s keep positive. Nothing has been signed yet so we are still in the running and I would love to see the Armenian come to Arsenal, either this summer or in 12 months time. What an attack we’d have with him alongside Ozil and Sanchez!