Henrikh Mkhitaryan a key part of United’s bid for Alexis Sanchez

Armenian weighing up his options but may not be in any rush to leave Manchester United

 Alexis Sánchez: It is understood Mkhitaryan does not view himself as a makeweight in any deal that would take Sánchez to United.    Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Alexis Sánchez: It is understood Mkhitaryan does not view himself as a makeweight in any deal that would take Sánchez to United. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

 

Manchester United’s hopes of buying Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez may recede should Henrikh Mkhitaryan not wish to move to the north London club, with the Armenian carefully weighing up his options before a possible move from Old Trafford.

There has not yet been contact between Mkhitaryan and Arsenal regarding his terms and potentially moving to the Emirates Stadium. It is understood Mkhitaryan does not view himself as a makeweight in any deal that would take Sánchez to United. Instead, the forward believes he is the key to United being able to purchase the Chilean.

José Mourinho has said he expects “other big clubs” to go in for Sánchez, but Antonio Conte does not believe Chelsea are trying to sign him. “I don’t know but I don’t think so,” the manager said on Tuesday.

United’s prospective terms are thought to include Mkhitaryan being part of Sánchez’s transfer, but the 28-year-old is in no particular rush to depart and would countenance remaining at Old Trafford.

Should he opt to do so, this would leave United having to decide whether they wish to finance Sánchez’s transfer without the sum of around £30 million they would have received from Mkhitaryan’s sale. When Sánchez’s signing-on fee plus that of his agent’s are factored in this would mean United having to pay around £60 million for a player who is out of contract at Arsenal in the summer.

Replacement

There is also the question of whether Arsène Wenger would allow Sánchez to leave if he did not have Mkhitaryan as his replacement, though Arsenal’s manager is also pursuing Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Meanwhile, Wenger accused referee Mike Dean of not being honest and branded him a “disgrace” in a heated exchange following December’s 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns.

The English Football Association has published its reasons for Wenger’s three-game touchline suspension and it shines a spotlight on the manager’s unhappiness following the New Year’s Eve clash. Wenger was furious after Dean awarded West Brom a late penalty when Calum Chambers was adjudged to have handled Kieran Gibbs’s cross late on and Jay Rodriguez dispatched the equaliser.

According to the report, Wenger entered the referee’s office after the draw, where Dean reported that he was “very aggressive”.

In Dean’s report, the official stated: “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’. He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying ‘you’re not honest’ on numerous occasions. I replied ‘so you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’.

Many times

“He then said ‘you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.”

An independent disciplinary panel handed Wenger the three-match ban on January 5th and a £40,000 fine for the incident, with the manager accepting his “language and behaviour was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity” of the referee.

– Guardian

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