Mkhitaryan at centre of transfer storm as “lie” called out by Roma chief
The former Man Utd and Arsenal playmaker has been linked with an exit from the Serie A club this summer but he is set to stay at the Stadio Olimpico according to Roma chief Tiago Pinto
AS Roma director Tiago Pinto has slammed the “lie” linking former Man Utd and Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan with Serie A rivals Inter Milan.
Reports suggested that the Armenian playmaker was ‘in talks’ with the current Serie A champions, with his contract at the Stadio Olimpico set to expire at the end of the season. He would be set to move to the San Siro on a free transfer.
However, Pinto has hit back at those claims, labelling the suggestions if Mkhitaryan’s switch across Italy as “lies”, whilst he has also reaffirmed the midfielder’s commitment to the club ahead of the Europa Conference League final against Feyenoord next week.
Speaking with DAZN, he said: “I spoke to Micki [Mkhitaryan] about whether he is ready for the Final, that is all we are concentrated on. I know him and his professionalism, I am 100 per cent sure it is a lie to say he is talking to Inter.
“He will do everything possible to play a Final for Roma. As I have said before, I am not here to talk about the transfer market, we have a season to finish.”
Mkhitaryan has of course been with Roma since departing Arsenal ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. He has enjoyed a far more positive time of things than during his spell in the Premier League.
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In 116 appearances for the Italian giants, he has scored 29 goals whilst also providing a further 28 assists. His best campaign came last term as he got on the scoresheet on 15 occasions in all competitions, whilst managing to tee-up his teammates on 13 occasions.
Roma have had to do without his services for the last five matches though with Mkhitaryan having picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium last month. They certainly felt his absence having failed to win any of their three Serie A matches before rounding off their season with a 3-0 victory over Torino – Tammy Abraham twice getting on the scoresheet.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho has praised the Armenian midfielder despite the pair having somewhat of an uneasy relationship at Old Trafford. He said: “The thing that makes me happy, in the beginning people go for a negative, and they were trying to say ‘Mkhitaryan with Jose has no chance, Jose is the kind of the guy that when things go wrong they never go well again’. It has been proven the opposite, we were very mature, very honest with each other.
“We all know that I try always to be honest with the players and I saw my project in Roma needing a player like Miki, I also understand his importance in the group. He’s having an amazing year, helping us cope with a small squad. He is playing everywhere – a winger, a 10, a central midfielder. I’m so happy with him and I’m happy with people understanding with me everything is not black and white.”