Borussia Dortmund have conceded defeat in their attempts to keep Armenian international, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 27, at the club and officials have travelled to Manchester to finalise a move to Old Trafford.
It’s going to be busy week for Jose Mourinho with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, set to join on Friday once the final £4m loyalty bonus from Paris St. Germain has been paid. The Swede endured rather than enjoyed Euro 2016 and was largely anonymous as his country crashed out in the group phase.
Having signed Eric Bailly, 23, from Villarreal earlier in the summer, Mourinho is stamping his mark on Manchester United’s squad and setting about overhauling the mundane playing style which was the hallmark of predecessor Louis Van Gaal’s reign.
Mkhitaryan enjoyed a phenomenal season with Dortmund in 2015/16 with 23 goals and 25 assists in his 51 appearances. Frustrated by Bayern Munich’s dominance of German football, the Armenian demanded to leave this summer with one year remaining on his contract. Borussia were minded to keep hold of their star for next season but relented under the constant pressure exerted by his representatives.
The duo represent an interesting challenge to the stereotypical philosophy attributed to Mourinho. Noted as a dour tactician, both Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic offer individuality and flair which may not sit comfortably within Mourinho’s strict footballing confines.
Before offering the Portuguese the Old Trafford hotseat, concerns were raised privately by some of the United board that Mourinho wouldn’t bring a return to the swagger and style sorely missing in recent seasons. These two deals signal that he may be throwing off his own shackles.
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