By Sir Hardly Anyone (whose claim for overtime is in the post)
FACT 1: Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not extend his contract at Borussia Dortmund, the club have confirmed.
This certainly does seem to be a fact, in that every report that mentions this, confirms the point. He’s got one year left on the Dortmund contract, he won’t extend, and so the pressure is on for Dortmund to flog him off now or lose him on a free walk-away next summer.
FACT 2: Dortmund will force him to stay
Although this seems unlikely, this has been written in a number of places. The argument is that Dortmund are fed up with player power and want to show everyone who is the boss.
The trouble with this is not just the loss of a player for nothing, but also given that he seems to be saying publicly that he will not sign another contract, the fans almost certainly will turn against him. Given that there is a bit of mumbling about how Arsenal fans would react if Vardy now said he wants Arsenal, a man playing out a whole season, and refusing to re-sign won’t go down well, and won’t do his playing career much good, and his form is bound to decline.
FACT 3: He’s going to Man U – that is the only place he wants to go
Mkhitaryan is reported to have said bits and pieces about this and his agent Mino Raiola has talked his client up for a move to Manchester United. But no one has reported that Man U have actually made a bid or are opening discussions.
FACT 4: He’s going to Arsenal – the only club to have put in a bid
That latter point seems to be true, in as much as anything is true in this story. All the various reports suggest that Arsenal have indeed made a bid.
FACT 5: His sister knows, and what she knows is Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal
Monika Mkhitaryan works for Uefa and apparently doesn’t follow a single football club on LinkedIn – other than Arsenal.
Which by and large tells us not much, assuming it is true.
FACT 6: Chelsea have put in a bid
There seems to be no evidence of this at all. I know that the notion of a journalist making this stuff up seems a bit far fetched, but in this case, that is how it seems.
FACT 7: He’s not suitable
When the Metro says, “there may be legitimate concerns about Mkhitaryan’s consistency and mentality” that probably translates into them suggesting he’s an erratic nutter. But that’s just the sort of player Wenger likes right?
Well, actually, no.
FACT 8. It is all agent make believe
The agent is Mino Raiola – whom the Metro calls the “notorious Mino Raiola”. Apparently he also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. Anyway the argument is that Raiola is the person who has been beefing up the speculation over Mkhitaryan’s future this summer by talking up a potential move to Manchester United. Apparently they know nothing about it.
FACT 9. Arsenal don’t need him
Do we need another attacking midfield player? Is Mkhitaryan going to replace Theo, or replace Ramsey, or… just be another player ready for all the injuries we will get? Except the figures show we tend not to get too many when compared with others.
So maybe that is true. We don’t actually need him.
FACT 10. In fact no one needs him
Even the Metro has realised that it is very hard to know quite what Jose Mourinho is up to at Very Old Trafford. The clue would be the sale of Juan Mata, Memphis Depay or Ander Herrera, but is that really going to be his priority? Seems unlikely.
As for Chelsea where is he going to play if Chelsea go for a 3-5-2 format. He isn’t a wide player who hugs the touchline, he plays inside and runs into the box. Or are Chelsea giving up on Hazard and shipping him out, with Mk as the replacement? Or is that what will happen to Oscar?
Or is it fantasy.
The post-analysis in-depth editorial discussion and decision making:
Editor: That headline doesn’t fit what you have written
Sir H: Quite so dear boy, I’m a journalist
Editor: No you’re not, you’re an uppity member of the aristocracy
Sir H: How dare you sir?
Editor: Oh bugger off.
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