German newspaper Bild has reported that Henrik Mkhitaryan had threatened to go on strike at Borussia Dortmund if he wasn’t permitted a move to Manchester United.
The Armenian moved to Old Trafford this summer for a reported fee of around £36 million, after Dortmund conceded defeated in their attempts to make him stay.
Mkhitaryan was offered a new contract to stay at the Bundesliga giants, as he had only 12 months left to run on his contract at the time. He rejected the deal, however, as he was desperate to leave the club when Manchester United came calling.
Dortmund were hesitant at first, but figured it would be better to sell the Armenian this summer at a profit, than see him leave for free at the end of the season.
A Dortmund statement confirming the 27-year-old’s transfer to The Red Devils read: “After intensive discussions BVB have complied with the wishes of the Armenian national team player to join Manchester United.”
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “Manchester have made us an enormously valuable offer. Had we rejected it, the player would have been able to leave for free in 2017. And all we would have done is delay the issue for another year.”
But according to Bild, Mkhitaryan pressurised the Dortmund board into allowing him to make the move to the Theatre of Dreams. He gave the German club no other option, by threatening to never play for them if they refused to sanction his move to Old Trafford.
The winger stated in his first interview as a Manchester United player that he always looks to progress further in his career, and believes he has so much more to offer.
He was quoted as saying: “I think to look back, maybe I went a very long way to come here but, for me, this is not the highest point I can reach. I can go further and I am very happy for that because I think I did everything right in my life and I’m going step by step forward.”
Mkhitaryan was one of the best players in the Bundesliga last season. Overall, he scored 23 goals and assisted 32 in 50 appearances for both club and country.
He will now look to build on that record, and establish himself in the Premier League as the Jose Mourinho era gets underway.