Henrikh Mkhitaryan shed a few tears as he said a final goodbye to his Manchester United teammates ahead of his move to Arsenal.
The Armenian has been a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho for large parts of the campaign and looks set to join the Gunners as part of a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez.
Mkhitaryan’s agent, Mino Raiola, is still negotiating with Arsenal and the move will only go through if he is satisfied with the terms presented to him and his client, according to the BBC.
But a source at Man United has confirmed that Mkhitaryan was already preparing for the Emirates as he said a tearful goodbye to his teammates.
“It was very tearful,” the source said. “Henrikh has been a very popular figure here at United.”
“We know he isn’t too happy at the way this deal has been forced upon him. He realises he has more chance of playing at Arsenal, but he would have preferred to leave on his own terms.”
This is not how we expected, nor wanted, Mkhitaryan’s time at Old Trafford to end. And what makes his departure sad, above anything, is that beneath the Armenian’s often brittle and confidence-sapped demeanour lies a truly exceptional player – someone with genuine magic at their feet, born in the Soviet Union but very much Brazilian by footballing nature.
But there is no place for sentiment at the highest level. Mkhitaryan hasn’t delivered in the No.10 role on a regular enough basis and his replacement feels far better suited to Mourinho’s methods.