Henrikh Mkhitaryan could become a “hate figure” at Old Trafford if he ruins the Alexis Sanchez deal, a Manchester United source has warned.
Manchester United are willing to trade Mkhitaryan in a deal for Sanchez but the Armenia international’s agent Mino Raiola said his client will only go if he is happy with the contract offered by Arsenal.
Mkhitaryan, 28, has two and a half years left on his Old Trafford contract – worth about £20million – and is likely to demand a ‘golden goodbye’ payment because he has not asked to leave.
Daily Star said an insider has warned Mkhitaryan it could turn nasty for him at United if he KOs the deal.
A club source told the Daily Star: “If the Sanchez deals falls through because of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he will be a hate figure at Old Trafford.
“He’s not too popular to begin with considering how he’s struggled to impress, but United will be a pretty ugly place for him if he causes the Sanchez transfer to fail.”
The Armenia international’s agent Mino Raiola has insisted his client will only go if he is happy with the contract offered by Arsenal.
Raiola made it clear the player will not be bullied into the move by saying: “United are not going to sign Sanchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal. He’s going to do what is best for him. He has two and a half years left on his contract, so it’s his decision.
“Sanchez is part of Mkhi’s deal. Not the other way around. Without him, Sanchez simply cannot go to United.”
Raiola, an influential figure at United because he also represents Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, added: “Mkhi’s problems at United are purely related to playing football. He has no problem with the manager. It is not personal.
“He doesn’t have to leave. At this moment the chances of a move to Arsenal are low, but life is dynamic. This is a great deal for Arsenal. They need better, younger players and they have to invest. So it’s up to Arsenal to put a deal in place and right now a deal is a long way off.”
Raiola said Mkhitaryan was not the “makeweight” and any deal would be a straight swap with no cash involved because both players are valued at £35m.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte confirmed Sanchez will not be joining Chelsea.
The Blues boss said: “I like to talk about a situation that could be real. Now it is not important to talk about Sanchez, because he’s not our good problem, so why do I have to waste words on nothing?”
When asked to confirm it is irrelevant because Chelsea will not sign Sanchez, Conte replied: “Yes.”