Premeir League club Arsenal have told Italian side A.S. Roma that £8.5m opening offer for Henrikh Mkhitaryan is too small, according to reports.
FutballNews reports that the Armenian international joined Arsenal from Manchester United as part of the deal to send Alexis Sanchez the other way. But he failed to deliver in England and found himself sidelined by Unai Emery. He then joined Roma on loan at the start of this season, going on to make 10 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals and earning one assist for the Iltalian side.
Roma are planning to make the move permanent, but according to ForzaRoma, Mikel Arteta’s side have rejected a bid from Italian side, but both clubs are still in talks over the midfielder’s long-term future. Arsenal are keen to move Mkhitaryan on to generate funds for Mikel Arteta this month.
The Gunners have stayed in contact with Roma as they look to shift Mkhitaryan off their wage bill at the end of the season but so far an agreement hasn’t been reached. Both clubs have already had dealings in the past, where Poland international Wojciech Szczęsny underwent a similar loan spell at the Stadio Olimpico before joining Roma on a permanent basis soon after.
The 30-year-old has apparently already made up his mind to join Roma on a permanent basis as the end of the season and the club is now ready to make Mkhitaryan’s loan move permanent. The Armenia international actually struggled to make an impact at the club due to an abductor injury which ruled him out for seven league games this season. But since returning from injury, the 30-year-old has convinced manager Paulo Fonseca to try and make the move permanent.
Roma could struggle to match Arsenal’s asking price if they also decide to make a permanent move for Manchester United loanee Chris Smalling. The Giallorossi might also be forced to sell one of their star players to make room for Mkhitaryan in Fonseca’s first-team squad.