Henrikh Mkhitaryan remains determined to force his way into the Manchester United team with the club reportedly having ‘no intention’ of allowing him to leave in January.
The £30million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund has endured a frustrating start to his time at Old Trafford and has not featured in the side since being hauled off at half-time during the derby defeat to Manchester City on September 10.
That defeat to City was the Armenian’s first start at United since his switch and the playmaker has been linked with a return to former club Dortmund – speculation his former club were quick to reject.
When asked if there was any chance of the 27-year-old coming back, chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke simply told Kicker: “No.”
Watzke then warned players of the sacrifice they make when they choose to leave a club where you are already settled.
He added: “Any intelligent player should consider in advance what kind of environment they are moving to. When you are playing in surroundings where things are working for you, like in Dortmund, then it is quite strange to give that away again once things have finally started to work out for you after a long time settling in.”
Mkhitaryan’s struggles for first-team action at United have been underpinned by a series of niggling injuries but is now back in training following a troublesome thigh problem.
However, the player failed to make the matchday squad for the 0-0 draw with Burnley on Saturday – a game in which manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands and now faces a suspension after ‘going ballistic’ with referee Mark Clattenburg.
Mkhitaryan ‘aiming to impress’
Despite the lack of inclusion on Saturday, Mkhitaryan is reportedly desperate to make his time at Old Trafford a success, and with the entire first-team squad handed a day off on Sunday, the Armenian spent his day at Carrington training alone.
Some reports suggested the player is being isolated by Mourinho, but Mkhitaryan, though, is believed to have trained on his own voluntarily as he looks to build up his fitness and impress Mourinho with his work ethic.
But United sources insist there have been no conversations about Mkhitaryan leaving the club in January and say Mourinho was speaking earnestly last week when he said the midfielder needs time to adapt to the Premier League “to become the top player he knows he can be.”
Mourinho said: “Some players have the profile of adapting easily but some other players need more time to feel the intensity. Some players need time to feel the competitiveness and the level of work without the ball. Mikhi needs time to become the top player we know he can be.
“Of course we believe in Mikhi and sooner or later there will be no problem.”