Arsenal must shift Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s £180,000 weekly wage off their expenditure list if they are to complete a deal for Willian, according to a report.
The Gunners are keen on a deal for Chelsea winger Willian, whose contract in west London is expiring. Indeed, recent speculation suggests Arsenal will secure his signing this week.
Willian has long had a contract dispute with Chelsea. However, Arsenal are willing to meet the Brazilian’s demand of a three-year deal and The Sun claims this gives the club a significant advantage over other sides, including Inter Milan, in the race.
The newspaper adds, however, that Arsenal could struggle to follow through with their wish to pay Willian £130,000 per week.
That is because they must first wipe Mkhitaryan’s wage off their bill in order to finance the move. Mkhitaryan is one of several players to have lofty salaries at Arsenal, with top earner Mesut Ozil earning £350,000 per week.
Mkhitaryan moved to Roma on loan in September and does not feature in Mikel Arteta’s future plans. What’s more, he has previously revealed his desire to stay in Serie A.
The Armenia international has struck an initial agreement to stay at Roma for the 2020/21 season. However, his future past that point is unclear.
Reports in May suggested the Italian side want Arsenal to pay a chunk of Mkhitaryan’s wages in the event of a permanent deal in Serie A.
Another concern for Arsenal is their growing reliance on influential agent Kia Joorabchian. The deal broker works with Gunners stars David Luiz and Cedric Soares and has been heavily involved with the club in recent months.
ARSENAL OVERTAKE MAN UTD IN DEFENDER HUNT?
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly overtaken Manchester United in the hunt to sign Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Lille defender is hot property after a strong spell with the French club in the last 18 months.
Recent reports suggested United were close to a deal, but Chris Smalling’s return has allegedly cooled their interest.