After months of speculation, Borussia Dortmund fans finally have some clarity. Attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not sign a new contract at the Westfalenstadion.
Chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke was quoted by German tabloid Bild on the matter: “We’ve negotiated a new deal for four months. Now we know he will not sign an extension.”
The Armenian, who joined the club in 2013 for a club-record fee of €27.5 million, is under contract until 2017 and early indications are Dortmund will hold on to their No. 10 until then.
Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola said in Bild: “Micky was promised he’d be allowed to leave in the summer. Suddenly they’re telling him that he’s supposed to leave on a free transfer next year. That’s bad management!”
A host of English clubs are reportedly interested in signing the 27-year-old, who’s coming off of his best season in Germany in which he was involved in an impressive 55 goals in 52 matches across competitions, per Transfermarkt.
Raiola said: “Manchester United is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and Mkhitaryan absolutely wants to go there immediately.”
Any club hoping to get the player this summer will have to splash the proverbial cash: Dortmund have already sold Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gündogan and signed six players – we’re including Portgual international Raphael Guerreiro whose transfer is reportedly done but will only be announced after the Euros – so they won’t be inclined to let their best player of last season leave unless it’d be financially irresponsible not to sell him.
Should Mkhitaryan leave this summer, Dortmund would be under immense pressure to find a suitable replacement who could work out right away. With Marco Reus likely out for the start of the season and proving unreliable due to his extensive injury history over the years, the Black and Yellows would arguably need to invest heavily in a replacement for Mkhitaryan.