Henrikh Mkhitaryan sends clear message to Arsenal over his future

AS Roma loanee Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mkhitaryan was shipped out on loan at the start of this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has made it clear he doesn’t plan on returning to Arsenal and instead wants to make his loan move to Roma permanent in the next transfer window, according to reports in Italy.

The Armenian was sent out on a season-long loan to the Serie A side at the start of the campaign after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Emirates Stadium.

Despite missing large portions of the season through injury, Mkhitaryan has registered six goals and three assists in just 13 league appearances.

His excellent form prompted Roma manager Paulo Fonseca to declare his interest in keeping the 31-year-old at the club after his loan deal expires.

‘I want him to stay and he also wants to stay,’ Fonseca told Russian TV programme Great Football last week.

‘However, it should be clear that everything is now on hiatus, and we’ll have to talk to Arsenal.

‘I want to continue working with him because he’s a great player and a great man.’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Mkhitaryan may not be in Mikel Arteta’s plans (Picture: Getty Images)

And according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, Mkhitaryan had the following message for Arsenal when asked about his future plans: ‘My time in London is over, I hope you manage to find an agreement with Rome because my desire is to stay.’

The report also states that the Gunners have lowered their asking price for the midfielder from €25.2m (£22m) to around €10m (£8.7m).

The 31-year-old’s agent, Mino Raiola, is mediating the deal between the two clubs and is said to have explained to Arsenal that selling Mkhitaryan for a more affordable price is a better option than paying his wages to just sit on the bench.

The Gunners have also been strongly linked with a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, who has a release clause of £43.5m.

However, club head of football Raul Sanllehi told staff not to expect any mega-money moves this summer as finances will be severely affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

MORE: Mikel Arteta tips Kieran Tierney to become ‘special’ at Arsenal

MORE: Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey warned Arsenal transfer could ‘destroy’ his career

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