Arsenal’s new head scout Sven Mislintat is said to be the main figurehead behind Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United.
According to the Daily Mail, Mislintat is a huge fan of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The midfielder played for Borussia Dortmund while the scout was there, and apparently the 45-year-old is keen to bring the Armenian to Arsenal.
United have reportedly offered Mkhitaryan as part of a player-plus-cash exchange for Alexis. Therefore, Mislintat is the man credited with trying to get this deal over the line. If true, this means Arsenal’s biggest transfer saga for years could come down to the new head scout.
This also suggests Arsene Wenger could be losing his grip on the club. Until last week, it was almost certain that Alexis was going to Manchester City. The 29-year-old was said to have agreed personal terms with the Sky Blues last year, and was allegedly desperate to work under Pep Guardiola again.
Have been told for past 6 months that Alexis is excited about the prospect of playing under Pep, so would be surprised if he now ends up playing for Jose instead
— Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) January 11, 2018
Obviously not that desperate.
Meanwhile, Wenger is also a known admirer of Mkhitaryan, so if the 28-year-old comes to north London, I doubt he would complain.
The former Dortmund playmaker hasn’t exactly set the Premier League on fire since his £30m move in 2016, but in a different system he could flourish.
When asked about Mkhitaryan’s future, Jose Mourinho said, “My approach to players is that every player has a price. It doesn’t matter who he is. It doesn’t matter the level. It doesn’t matter the prestige, the status. I think every player has a price.
“And I am not the kind of blind manager…blind in the sense of, this player is untouchable, can never be sold. I think every player has a price. So when the transfer window is open, it’s also open for any club that is interested in our players. Then it’s up to us to make the decision: yes or no.
“It’s up to us to decide what we think is the right price. But Mkhitaryan played the last match in the FA Cup and probably will play the next one [against Stoke]. He’s a little bit the same in relation to other players that are involved in this gossip of the transfer market.
“He is our player and a very good player. So Saturday [he is] training, then Sunday [he is] selected and Monday [he will] play.”
Since Mkhitaryan’s move to United, he’s only made 26 Premier League starts, scored five goals and assisted six. During his final season in Germany, he made 28 starts in the Bundesliga alone, scoring 11 goals and assisting 15.