Henrikh Mkhitaryan is holed up in the gym trying to win back his place at Manchester United, according to a report.
The Manchester Evening News claim the 28-year-old is doing extra gym work away from Carrington after falling out of favour under Jose Mourinho.
Despite being Mourinho’s third signing when he arrived in a £26.3million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016, the United boss has lost faith in the Armenian.
His form has been up and down, and after a good start to the season with two goals and six assists in the first couple of months of the season his form has taken a downward spiral.
Mourinho has left Mkhitaryan out of three of of the last four matchday squads and the attacking midfielder has not started since the defeat at Chelsea at the start of the month.
Mourinho claimed Mkhitaryan’s omission against Newcastle was down to tactical reasons and the fact that he wanted to play Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the same team.
“The story is always the same. In some positions, when you don’t have injuries, you have lots of options in other positions,” said Mourinho.
“In this moment, we have Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay. So I can imagine, next week, you are going to ask – why is this player not playing?
“Micki is not playing because we had lots of options for that match. I decided to play Marcus Rashford and Martial together.”
Last week Mourinho was more critical of the player and claimed he was “disappearing”.
“I was not happy with his last performances. I’m not speaking about one or two, I’m speaking about three, four or five,” Mourinho said. “He started the season very well and after that, step by step, he was disappearing.
“His performance levels in terms of goal scoring and assists, high pressing, recovering the ball high up the pitch, bringing the team with him as a No.10, were decreasing step by step. That was enough because the others worked to have a chance. Everybody works to have a chance. It’s as simple as that.”
Mkhitaryan though has taken the criticism on board and working over time on his fitness and conditioning in a bid to get back into the United boss’ plans.