Jose Mourinho has fueled further speculation that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is on his way to Arsenal by both what he did and what he said just minutes ago. First, Mourinho dropped Mkhitaryan completely from the matchday squad, despite saying over the weekend that the winger would see some action against Stoke City tonight.
Secondly, it’s what Mourinho said in his pregame interview that conveys Mkhitaryan’s days in a red shirt are almost certainly over:
“I would lie if I would say that it was a pure tactical decision.”
“It was just a choice of the players that we know, in this moment, they have 100 percent their heads in Manchester United, and no doubts about the future. I don’t think it’s easy for a player to play when there are doubts about his future. It’s added pressure that a player doesn’t need, so I think it’s the best for him and for us, while the doubt is in the air, to protect him.“
Man United v Stoke team sheet. No Mkhitaryan. Negotiations ongoing with Arsenal re Sanchez player plus cash deal pic.twitter.com/tdhAGqIzSk
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 15, 2018
Mkhitaryan has seen his name linked to Arsenal as part of a deal that would bring Alexis Sanchez over to Old Trafford. Sanchez himself didn’t even make the trip to Arsenal’s loss at Bournemouth over the weekend, which is of course another clue that the Chilean’s time in north London is up.
Factor in that Sanchez has also consistently been linked to Manchester City, and that Arsenal have been shopping for his replacement, which could be Bordeaux’s Malcolm, and this is an extremely complicated situation. Several clubs and multiple players are involved, so it won’t be resolved and finalized overnight, with so many dominoes yet to fall.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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