AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca says he would like to sign Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan on a permanent deal this summer.
The Armenia international is on loan at Stadio Olimpico for the 2019/20 season, after struggling to convince at the Emirates Stadium following his move in January 2018.
Mkhitaryan arrived at Arsenal as part of a swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to Manchester United and after some early promise, he faded for the Gunners.
It was decided he would head to Roma temporarily, and it is thought the Italians have an option to buy the player.
And now Fonseca has admitted for the first time he would like to sign the player.
He told Sky Sports: “Mkhi during this season got some injuries but he is returning now and he is proving his quality.
“Let’s see. He is a player with great decisions on the pitch and I would also like to keep Mkhi in our team.”
Mkhitaryan produced arguably his best performance of the season against Lecce at the weekend, scoring one, assisting another and being named man of the match for his efforts.
TBR’s view – Arsenal should let Mkhitaryan go
Although there’s a chance Mkhitaryan may be a different story under Mikel Arteta, the Gunners seem to be doing OK without him under the Spaniard.
Nicolas Pepe is starting to warm to the Premier League, and there are also great young talents coming through in Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Mkhitaryan is on huge £180,000-a-week wages at the Emirates Stadium (Spotrac), which perhaps put him under pressure to deliver consistently.
Maybe Arteta will take a closer look at him in the summer, but it would be too surprising to see Mkhitaryan’s Italian job turned permanent.