Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be allowed to leave Borussia Dortmund until the end of his existing contract amid interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, the club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed, ESPN FC reports.
ESPN FC sources say that Arsenal have made Mkhitaryan their number one target, but the Armenia international — who is under contract until 2017 — will not be allowed a transfer, despite there also being a reported €24 million offer from Manchester United.
Mkhitaryan, 27, has turned down Dortmund’s contract offer and has his heart set on a move to the Premier League, but the Bundesliga have decided not to sell the midfielder and will force him to see out his contract, Watzke confirmed in Bild.
“We’ve been negotiating a new deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for four months,” Watzke said. “We now know he won’t sign an extension. There was never a promise that he can leave us prematurely.”
Watzke’s comments came after Mino Raiola, Mkhitaryan’s agent, claimed in Bild that the club had promised the Armenian and his representative to be allowed a transfer in the summer.
“Those in charge at BVB promised Micki months ago that he can leave the club in the summer,” Raiola said. “Dortmund have an official offer, but the BVB bosses now fear their fans. All of a sudden they say that he has to leave on a free next summer. That’s very bad management.”
According to Bild, Manchester United have made a €24m offer for Mkhitaryan — who set up 32 goals and scored a further 23 in all competitions for the club last term — and the agent wants his player to link up with Jose Mourinho as soon as possible.
“Manchester United are a unique opportunity,” Raiola said. “Micki wants to join them now by any means.”
However, Dortmund, who have already sold key players Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan to Bayern Munich and Manchester City, have decided to not sell the Armenian.
“We have intensely discussed the question of an early transfer in all club bodies and came to the conclusion that Mkhitaryan will stay in Dortmund next season,” Watzke said.