There have been speculations of Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving Manchester United. On Monday, Jose Mourinho did not select the attacking midfielder against Stoke City.
United’s pursuit of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has seen Mkhitaryan thrown into the equation, with the possibility of the playmaker heading to the Emirates in order to facilitate the deal.
In a post-match interview, Jose Mourinho admitted that he did not select the player because his concentration had been affected by the transfer speculation.
“I would lie if I said it was a pure tactical decision. It was just a choice of the players that we know, in this moment; they have 100 per cent their heads in Manchester United.I don’t think it’s easy for a player to play when there are doubts about his future. It’s added pressure that a player doesn’t need, so I think it’s the best for him and for us, while the doubt is in the air, to protect him, stated Mourinho.
Mourinho admitted Mkhitaryan is a quality player, saying he might be denying him enough play time to help him grow and in case a deal comes from Emirates where he can get enough playing time with the exit of Sanchez then it will be beneficial to the player.
“Mkhitaryan is a player that I like, of high quality. Is he going to be involved in one deal in leaving us? It’s possible. But it’s also possible that he stays. He plays in a position where I have several options, today on the bench I had Lindelof , Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly still in recovery so I might not give enough chances to him and it will only be good if I open a door for him to go and play,” added Mourinho .
In my own opinion, Mourinho said all this just to make the player happy but he would gladly swap him with Alexis Sanchez.
Mkhitaryan has fallen out of favor at Old Trafford in recent months, making just two Premier League starts since the beginning of November and with Jose Mourinho’s revelation its evident that there is no space for him at Old Trafford.
EPL league leaders Manchester City have however ended their interest in Sanchez as they feel the potential deal has become too expensive.