Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola has insisted that his client’s desire to leave Manchester United is not because of any personal problem with Jose Mourinho.
The Armenian has been surplus to requirements under Mourinho ever since early November, with an anonymous display at Stamford Bridge proving to be the last of his time as a regular starter this season.
Raiola is now working to strike a deal with Arsenal this month, with Alexis Sanchez going the other way – possibly as a straight swap.
Speaking on Tuesday, Raiola made it clear that Mkhitaryan was leaving Old Trafford for footballing reasons.
“Mkhi’s problems at Man Utd are purely related to playing football,” he said. “He has no problem with the manager. It is not personal. And he has two and a half years left on his contract. He doesn’t have to leave.”
Make no mistake: the Armenian is a talented player. We have seen brief moments of it at Old Trafford – the odd performance here and there packed with incisive control and splendid execution – but not nearly enough to label him as a success, or indeed a player who looks like he has a future under Mourinho.
You can tell his confidence has plummeted over the last few months or so, his last assist dating all the way back to August, and the only thing he can logically do now is look for a fresh start elsewhere.