José Mourinho has refused to quash rumours of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s imminent Old Trafford exit. The Armenian playmaker didn’t make Mou’s squad for Monday’s comfortable win over Stoke City, and when questioned after the game, the Manchester United boss appeared to suggest that Mkhitaryan could indeed be a makeweight in his ongoing attempt to prise Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal:
“[Mkhitaryan is] a player that I like, of high quality. Is he going to be involved in one deal in leaving us? It’s possible. But it’s also possible that he stays. I’m just trying to protect him and the team, so let’s make sure he stays with us or that he leaves us. The market is open.”
It’s all rather cryptic, but the fact that Mourinho didn’t take the chance to rule Mkhitaryan’s exit out suggests he really could be on his way. It’s certainly true that Mourinho hasn’t taken a shine to the former Borussia Dortmund man, who has made just 11 starts in the Premier League so far this season. If it really does mean Sánchez in a United shirt, few in the Stretford End would be sad to see him go.