Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s potential move to Arsenal could now be at risk of falling through.
It looks as though Atletico Madrid are ready to pounce should the Armenia international have second thoughts about moving to the Emirates, The Express says citing a report by El Gol Digital.
The Spanish-language media claims the La Liga side are willing to rescue Mkhitaryan from Old Trafford.
But the report goes on to say he would be offered a wage lower than he currently earns at United.
Arsenal-Manchester United swap deal involving Alexis Sanches and Mkhitaryan has long been discussed in the media.
However, some media reports claim that even without Mkhitaryan, Arsenal are expecting Sanchez to move to Old Trafford and the fact that both players were axed for their teams’ last games points to the fact they are on the move.
As reported earlier, the deal is being delayed as the Armenia international wants an increase on his £150,000-a-week deal.
Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola has laid out a set of demands after insisting the United midfielder is in no rush to leave Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan, 28, has got three and a half years left on his £150,000-a-week contract, wants a pay rise to go to Arsenal and will also want a “golden handshake” to leave United.
Raiola wants a big agent commission – more than £5m – and it is believed he will use the opportunity to try and renegotiate future terms for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another of his clients.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has encouraged Mkhitaryan to join Arsenal in order to reinvigorate his career.
Yorke, speaking earlier this week, insisted that the 28-year-old was an “Arsenal type of player”.
“Don’t forget, Mkhitaryan was in really exceptional form earlier on this season,” he told talkSPORT. “For some reason in the last few months he’s fallen out of favour. Maybe it’s a lack of form or a lack of confidence he showed earlier on this season.”
“But [he’s] an Arsenal type of player. He’s got quality and we’ve seen that at Old Trafford but he’s sort of lost his way here.
“A new start in London, playing for Arsenal, it might be the key factor in him going.”