Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Henrikh Mkhitaryan sheds tears, bids farewell to team-mates

Henrikh Mkhitaryan sheds tears, bids farewell to team-mates

Alexis Sanchez has finally completed his extremely-protracted move away from Arsenal, joining rivals Manchester United, for a fee estimated at £20 million, while Arsenal welcome midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan's arrival as the return half of the deal.

Armenia global Mkhitaryan has faded this season and has fallen down the pecking order under manager Jose Mourinho, who omitted the 28-year-old from United's squad for their 3-0 win over Stoke City on Monday.

The Chile star was left out of Arsenal's squad for their 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, with the forward reportedly having said his goodbyes to his team-mates late on Friday.

"I didn't take him because there is this question of him moving to Manchester United, you can not drive up north and as well play football", he said.

United manager Mourinho was vague when asked if signing Sanchez was dependent on Mkhitaryan joining the Gunners but did confirm the Armenian will not play at Burnley.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger seemed to confirm that Sanchez has already travelled up to Manchester, and that the next 48 hours should see the deal decided, with Mkhitaryan's moving the other way remaining pivotal to any agreement.

Guardiola suggested both the player and his agent Fernando Felicevich had driven the decision to choose a move to Old Trafford rather than push for a transfer to the Etihad - but insisted that was their right. "Once things are clear, the team responds and focusses on the job", Wenger said at a news conference after the victory over Palace. "Mkhi is going to do what is best for him".

"Maybe it's because there are two opportunities in Manchester, and if you think you can go to one or the other, then maybe one club thinks I don't want him anymore".

"I've nothing to say about the numbers [involved in the deal], but I can't imagine City leave the race because of money". "I know that the club is happy and the owners, the board are happy, they know that I am happy". "I expect [the transfer to be completed] soon or never", he said.

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