AS Roma want another year-long loan for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, according to reports in Italy, but he’d need a new deal with Arsenal first.

AS Roma’s Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko celebrates with Henrikh Mkhitaryan after scoring. During the UEFA Europa League match between AS Roma and Wolfsberg on December 12, 2019. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP via Getty Images)

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), AS Roma are looking to finalise another season-long loan for Henrikh Mkhitaryan when his temporary deal runs out this summer. They aren’t willing to pay Arsenal’s demands for a permanent move at this stage.

The issue here is that Mkhitaryan’s Arsenal contract expires in 2021. Though it’s not impossible to loan a player in the last year of their deal (see Cedric Soares), it’s very unlikely the Gunners would agree to it.

To solve that problem, Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola is hoping to extend the player’s Arsenal contract at a lower wage.

The only reason I can think of for Arsenal to agree is that this might help shift the winger on. Assuming Roma are willing to pay a substantial loan fee and Mkhitaryan’s wages are lower when he returns in 2021, the club could profit from both the loan and a sale.

At the same time, it’s a significantly more complex solution than just selling this summer. If Arsenal can find a buyer for a decent price, there’s no point taking risks. So many things could go wrong in the year between now and the summer of 2021.

As we covered yesterday, other Italian outlets claim Roma bid €15m plus bonuses for Mkhitaryan. If it’s a choice between €15m now and a bizarre loan contract extension situation, I’m taking the former.