Mkhitaryan: ‘I wasn’t part of Arsenal-Man United deal for Alexis Sanchez’
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has today revealed that his arrival at the club from Manchester United in January was not directly linked to Alexis Sanchez’s move in the other direction.
In the biggest saga of the winter transfer window, Alexis Sanchez actively sought out a departure from the Emirates, with his contract having been set to expire this summer.
The likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City were all touted as potential destinations, with the latter of these sides having been widely expected to secure a deal for the Chilean.
However, just days after a move to the Etihad for Sanchez looked, for all intents and purposes, as complete, Manchester United blitzed their inner-city rivals with a superior contract offer, eventually resulting in Sanchez opting to make the move to Old Trafford.
The deal’s completion also saw Red Devils’ playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan move in the other direction, an aspect which many viewed as having played a crucial role in Arsenal being convinced to allow another top player to move to Old Trafford.
However, speaking in an interview with FourFourTwo earlier today, Mkhitaryan vehemently denied that he was used as a makeweight as part of the deal for Sanchez, insisting that his transfer to North London was as much down to his own requests as those of Sanchez:
‘I didn’t come here to replace anyone.’
‘Everyone keeps saying that I’ve been part of a deal for Alexis Sanchez but it’s not true because he was running down his contract.’
‘If he didn’t choose to come to Manchester United, he would have stayed at Arsenal until the summer.’
‘Everything was up to me. I’m not saying I was important in this aspect but I want everyone to understand I wasn’t made part of the deal for Alexis Sanchez.’
‘We’re different players, we’re different characters, we have different abilities and skills.’
‘When I heard I could swap Manchester United for Arsenal, I said ‘yes I want to do that.’
‘I wasn’t evening thinking twice or thinking that maybe I don’t have to go. I said ‘no I want to go. I want to have more playing time. I want to enjoy playing attacking, offensive football’. I made the right decision coming here.’