Kicking off Monday’s transfer round-up, is the news that Manchester United are close to completing the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Dortmund after talks reached an advanced stage on Sunday. As reported by Sky Sports, the Armenian international is believed to have agreed personal terms with United after talks with his representative and will undergo a medical within the next week.
Newly appointed manager Jose Mourinho is looking to seal deals for his main targets quickly as the former Chelsea boss seeks to strengthen his team ahead of his first season in charge of United, and it seems Mkhitaryan could be a Red Devil before the weekend. He could also be joined by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has also been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford.
The Armenian international recorded 18 goals and 25 assists for Dortmund last term and was subsequently named the Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Season. He averaged 2.7 key passes and 2.6 shots throughout 31 appearances in the German top flight, with his efforts significantly outweighing those of his potential Manchester United team-mates – as shown by the stats per game below.
His arrival will be very well received by the Old Trafford faithful, who have been treated to watching some of the world’s most creative talents in red shirt of United over the years. The Dortmund right-winger will undoubtedly meet the supporters expectations, especially based on his ability to perform so consistently throughout the past few seasons.
Meanwhile, Zenit St. Petersburg are expecting Manchester United to bid for highly-rated midfielder Axel Witsel, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The Belgium international will likely leave the Russian club this summer and Zenit are prepared to listen to offers, with the Red Devils supposedly interested in what he has to offer in the centre of the park.
The 27-year-old is a combative midfielder, who is well made made for the physical nature of the Premier League. He is more specialised in a defensive role than international team-mate Marouane Fellaini – the man who occupied this role regularly during the days of Louis van Gaal’s leadership. However, with an array of central midfielder options already available to Mourinho, his arrival doesn’t really seem necessary.
With captain Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind providing significant depth, at least one or two will heave to leave if someone else is to arrive. Should this scenario unfold, you then have question marks over whether Witsel is really good enough to assist Mourinho in his quest to win the Premier League title.
United will have to compete with Juventus and Napoli if they want to complete a deal, which would only likely happen following the end of Euro 2016. However, he boasts a preposterously high – and somewhat unrealistic – buyout clause. It, therefore, seems unlikely that the Red Devils will make a move for the Belgian, with better and more affordable options undoubtedly up for grabs.
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