Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has travelled to Italy and is set to complete a loan move to AS Roma before the closure of the European transfer window on Monday.
Mkhitaryan came on as a second-half substitute in Arsenal’s 2-2 with draw against Tottenham on Sunday, but according to widespread sources, including the BBC and The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, the 30-year-old is heading for Rome to complete formalities on a transfer.
Mkhitaryan, who was straight swap for Alexis Sanchez in January 2018, will join Roma on a loan deal until the end of the the season with Roma paying a small loan fee, but there is no obligation to buy the player at the end of the season. That may well end with the Emery having to try and offload the player again next summer with his deal running until 2021.
Both Mkhitaryan and Sanchez have now left their clubs for loan moves to Serie A after just 18 months, with Sanchez having joined Inter Milan last week.
The Armenia international has struggled for game time under Unai Emery and has scored nine goals in 59 appearances for Arsenal.
The Telegraph reports that “Mkhitaryan’s departure will provide more opportunities for some of the talented young attackers at the club, including Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka”.
Emery has managed to trim his squad in recent days with Nacho Monreal moving to Real Sociedad on a permanent basis, while Mohamed Elneny has joined Besiktas on loan, easing the salary burden at The Emirates.