Henrikh Mkhitaryan closes in on Alexis Sanchez swap deal – but Arsene Wenger wanted Manchester United’s Anthony Martial
Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is edging ever closer to joining Arsenal in a deal that will see Alexis Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Armenia international Mkhitaryan joined United in the summer of 2016 for around £30million but has struggled to live up to his reputation as one of the most potent players in Germany for Borussia Dortmund. Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, warned United that he would only leave the club on his own terms, potentially putting the proposed swap deal with Sanchez in jeopardy.
But according to the Daily Mail, the 28-year-old accepts he has no future at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho and is now seeking an increase on his £140,000-a-week contract when he moves. It is also claimed that Mkhitaryan was not Arsene Wenger’s first-choice to be included in Sanchez’s swap, with the French boss privately favouring a move for Anthony Martial, but Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat has confidence in Mkhitaryan, having worked with him at Dortmund.
Speaking about the speculation surrounding Mkhitaryan’s future, Raiola said on Tuesday: ‘This is a great deal for Arsenal. They need better, younger players and they have to invest. ‘So it’s up to Arsenal to put a deal in place and right now a deal is a long way off. Manchester United are not going to sign Sanchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal. ‘Sanchez is part of Mkhi’s deal. Not the other way around. Without him, Sanchez simply cannot go to United. ‘Mkhi’s problems at Man Utd are purely related to playing football. He has no problem with the manager. It’s not personal.
‘Mkhi has not decided yet. He is going to do what is best for him. He has two-and-a-half years left on his contract. He doesn’t have to leave.’ Phil Jones, the Manchester United and England defender, added: ‘[Sanchez] is a good player. We’ll have to see. ‘If someone new comes in the door then obviously it’s a positive move for United but it’s not up to us, we just do the business on the pitch.’