Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to join Arsenal from Manchester United despite a warning from his agent that he could try to derail Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan’s move to the Emirates has edged closer after it became clear that United have beaten Manchester City in the race to sign Sanchez from Arsenal.
The Armenia international is under contract at Old Trafford until 2020 and his agent Mino Raiola insisted that he will either leave on his own terms or stall and jeopardise the swap deal with Sanchez.
However, it’s understood that Mkhitaryan accepts he has no future at United and is now looking to negotiate an increase on his £140,000-a-week contract when he moves.
Raiola, who earned a staggering £41million from Paul Pogba’s £89m move to United from Juventus and also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, would also be due a cut of the deal.
He said: ‘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.’
Arsenal want a £35m fee for Sanchez who will earn £350,000-a-week at United in addition to a £20m signing-on fee and £15m payment to his agent Fernando Felicevich.
United want to recoup as much as possible by driving up the price for Mkhitaryan who cost £26m when he moved from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016.
The 28-year-old was left out of United’s squad for the win over Stoke on Monday night with Jose Mourinho admitting that he had taken the decision because of speculation over Mkhitaryan’s future.
The United boss explained: ‘Is he going to be involved in one deal in leaving us? It’s possible.’