AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has told Sky Sports that he is keen to keep Arsenal attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Italy beyond the end of his season-long loan, despite there being no permanent clause in the temporary deal.
Mkhitaryan, 31, struggled during the first half of the season with injuries preventing him from featuring on a regular basis. But the Armenian has worked his way back into Fonseca’s plans, and has now scored five goals in 15 Roma appearances.
Indeed, he was crucial on Sunday as Roma eased past Lecce with a 4-0 win – a goal and an assist coming from the ex-Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund star. Now, Fonseca wants to keep Mkhitaryan at Roma.
However, BBC Sport reported upon his move to Roma that a permanent clause had not been included in the loan deal for the £180k-a-week star (Spotrac). Nevertheless, Fonseca made it clear that he wants Mkhitaryan to stay put.
“Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality,” Fonseca said. “Let’s see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team.”
TBR’s view – Arsenal should cash in on Mkhitaryan
Mikel Arteta’s new Arsenal blueprint looks as though it includes giving the young guns a chance. Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka both starred for The Gunners on Sunday, as they beat Everton 3-2 at The Emirates.
Joe Willock, Emile Smith-Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Matteo Guendouzi and plenty more continue to shine despite being under the age of 23. Mkhitaryan, now 31, is entering the twilight stages of his career.
Getting Mkhitaryan’s enormous pay cheque off the wage bill is Arsenal’s best move, with Europa League side Roma keen.