x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Jose Mourinho: No guarantees over Henrikh Mkhitaryan's future at Manchester United

The United manager pragmatic on the Armenian's future at Old Trafford as he prepares for Stoke City game on Monday.

Media reports in England have claimed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be offered up as part of a deal for Arsenal to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United. Alex Livesey / Getty Images
Media reports in England have claimed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be offered up as part of a deal for Arsenal to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United. Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been offered no assurances over his long-term Manchester United future by Jose Mourinho.

The Armenian was one of Mourinho's first signings in the summer of 2016 but inconsistency has blighted the playmaker since he joined from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3 million (Dh132.5m).

Mkhitaryan started just one Premier League game in the first four months of last season owing to a thigh injury and his manager's belief he needed time to adapt - and was taken off at half-time in the game he began.

He seemed to have turned the corner in December, though, and ended the campaign with 11 goals, including his improvised scorpion-kick strike against Sunderland and the second in United's Europa League final win over Ajax.

The 29-year-old began this campaign with five assists in the first three top-flight fixtures but his form tailed off again and having been substituted at half-time against Derby in their most recent game - a move Mourinho later apologised for - his name has been littered in gossip columns regarding a potential exit this month.

"My approach to players is that every player has a price," Mourinho said when asked directly about whether Mkhitaryan would stay.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Read more

Manchester United keen on bringing Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford to bolster Jose Mourinho's squad

Manchester United in Dubai: Pogba, Lukaku and first team squad show off skills in the sunshine

______________________________________________________________________________________

"It doesn't matter who he is. It doesn't matter the level. It doesn't matter the prestige, the status. I think every player has a price.

"And I am not the kind of blind manager...blind in the sense of, this player is untouchable, can never be sold. I think every player has a price.

"So when the transfer window is open, it's also open for any club that is interested in our players. Then it's up to us to make the decision: yes or no. It's up to us to decide what we think is the right price.

"But Mkhitaryan played the last match in the FA Cup and probably will play the next one (against Stoke). He's a little bit the same in relation to other players that are involved in this gossip of the transfer market.

"He is our player and a very good player. So Saturday (he is) training, then Sunday (he is) selected and Monday (he will) play."

One rumour is that Mkhitaryan could be used as a potential makeweight in a deal for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, a player Mourinho called "phenomenal" on Friday.

Even if the United boss makes a rare foray into the mid-season market, he does not believe any incomings will determine whether or not current Premier League leaders Manchester City can be overhauled.

City face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday and victory for Pep Guardiola's side would lift them 18 points clear of United.

"It's a very important difference of points, I was there before," Mourinho added.

"It gives a lot of tranquillity and takes away any kind of pressure from the guy that comes behind you.

"I think it's a very comfortable advantage and they sit on that. I don't think it's about the transfer window for us or the other teams close to us - Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham.

"I don't think it's about transfers. It's about continuing to win, getting the maximum possible points and seeing what happens."