Agent Mino Raiola has insisted that on-loan Arsenal Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not informed the Gunners of his desire to leave the club this summer.
Corriere dello Sport recently published quotes which they attributed to Mkhitaryan, in which the Armenian was said to have told Arsenal that his time at the Emirates Stadium is ‘over’ because he wants a permanent move to Roma.
Well, it seems like that just didn’t happen.
“Mkhitaryan did not send any message to Arsenal,” he said. “[Especially] in times like these, fake news is completely unacceptable.”
This is already pretty weird, but it gets a little weirder when you see AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović wading in to the drama.
“No it is true news it is acceptable,” the Swede mysteriously wrote.
What is even happening?
Mkhitaryan might not have sent that message to Arsenal, but it does seem like the Armenian may want to stay in Rome. Manager Paulo Fonseca recently admitted that Mkhitaryan wants a permanent move and Roma are eager to make it happen, but the current break in football has slowed things down.
The 31-year-old racked up six assists and three assists in 13 appearances for Roma before the season was postponed, showcasing the kind of form which earned him a spot in the catastrophic Alexis Sánchez swap deal in January 2018.
Roma are understood to want to strike permanent deals for both Mkhitaryan and fellow loanee Chris Smalling, who has reinvented his career after leaving Manchester United last summer, although whether they will have the finances to do so is a different question entirely.
I Giallorossi have been trying to negotiate a lower fee to sign Smalling, suggesting that there isn’t exactly a bottomless pit of money to spend, and the current lack of football definitely won’t have helped that.