Manchester United are expecting to finalise paperwork and apply for a work permit for Henrikh Mkhitaryan before the end of the week, according to the Manchester Evening News. The Borussia Dortmund star is soon to be installed as Jose Mourinho’s third signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With an impressive 15 assists last season, Mkhitaryan emerged as the Bundesliga’s most creative asset. Based on WhoScored.com‘s performance rating system, he was the highest-rated player in the German top flight. Averaging 2.7 key passes per appearance – more than any Manchester United player during the same period – and a further 2.6 shots at goal, it is clear to see what he would bring to Old Trafford.
According to Bild, the 27-year-old will earn close to €58 million over four years, taking the total cost of the deal over the €100 million mark. This means he could cost the Red Devils £83 million in total. This is a huge price to pay for a player who will be expected to make an instant impact at Old Trafford. However, it could definitely prove to be money well spent. Below is a breakdown of the anticipated deal, as provided by the German news outlet:
- Mkhitaryan will receive a signing on bonus worth €8 million
- His annual wage with total €12.5 million or €240,000-a-week
- The contract runs until 2020
- The total value of the deal (fee and wages) is exactly €100 million before bonuses
In other news, the Telegraph report that Everton are trying to convince Juan Mata to join Ronald Koeman’s revolution at Goodison Park, with the Spain international aware that he has no future at Old Trafford under Mourinho. The 28-year-old is not in the plans of the Portuguese head coach, who sold him to United in January 2014 during his second spell at Chelsea, and it is suggested that the new Red Devils manager’s view of the attacking midfielder has not changed from two years ago.
It would be a huge shame to see Mata depart. After all, he has quickly won the supporter’s hearts during his time at the club, but ultimately, Mourinho has to do what he feels is right for the good of the team, and if that’s allowing the Spaniard to leave, then so be it. With Mkhitaryan likely to be the man who replaces him as the creative source in midfield, few fans will hold a grudge if Mourinho’s cut-throat decision-making brings the club success.
Finally, The Sun reports that Adnan Januzaj will tell Mourinho he wants to leave the club permanently this week and not go out on loan again if he isn’t to be in the Portuguese coach’s first-team plans. Understandably, the 21-year-old is worried about leaving the club on loan again and slipping down the pecking order, especially with Mkhitaryan being expected to arrive within the next few days.
Januzaj starred throughout David Moyes short stay at Old Trafford, but has since fallen out of the first team picture. He endured a disappointing loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, where he made just six subsitute appearances in the German Bundesliga. With Louis van Gaal opting to favour Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata on the flanks last season, there was little room spared for the Belgian international. However, his displays when he first burst onto the scene in the Premier League may have been enough to convince Jose Mourinho of his worth at Old Trafford.
Like Mata, it would be a sincere shame to see Januzaj leave the club. He is a player who has come up through the youth system – albeit its latter stages – before breaking his way into the first team set-up. Supporters have been hoping Mourinho will opt to prioritise the prospects emerging from United’s fabled youth system, rather than choosing to sign players from elsewhere, and this sentiment should resonate as strongly as ever, here.
Nonetheless, there is a glimmer of hope for those fans who want to see the youngster, at least if we got back to comments Mourinho made about the Belgian during his second spell at Chelsea: “He is a fantastic player. He is not 18, he is 25. He is so mature and comfortable. A very good and important player,” the Portuguese head coach said. “I just think he is a very good player with the great conditions to have a great long-term career. I don’t know the boy individually, but it looks like he has the lot.”
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