Jose Mourinho was reportedly happy to allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join Arsenal after running out of patience with the Armenian.
The Manchester United manager concluded that Mkhitaryan couldn’t handle the physical or mental pressure of playing for the club, according to The Times.
A swap-deal that will see Mkhitaryan join Arsenal and Man United sign Alexis Sanchez is set to be confirmed in the next day.
Sanchez completed a medical at United’s Carrington Aon Training Ground on Sunday and the move will be complete once he completes work permit paperwork, something that couldn’t be done at the weekend.
Mkhitaryan’s United career has fizzled out after some electric moments in his only full season at the club, in the last campaign.
The 29-year-old scored a sensational scorpion kick goal on Boxing Day 2016 and was key in the Reds’ UEFA Europa League triumph in May, including scoring in the final.
Mourinho, though, tired of the attacking midfielder’s inability to cope with the mental and physical demands of United. Jesse Lingard, someone who clearly does not suffer from that weakness, had usurped Mkhitaryan in the team.
He’s now set to become one of Arsenal’s highest paid players on around £140,000-a-week while Sanchez will earn more than double that at United in the biggest deals of the January transfer window.
Mkhitaryan will leave United after months of poor form. He showed at times last campaign and briefly at the start of the season that he can be a high-quality player. At Arsenal, he may well prove he can be the player than United wanted when they signed him as two-time Bundesliga Player of the Year from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.