Henrikh Mkhitaryan opens the door for permanent AS Roma move

Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has said that he is open to the prospect of signing a permanent deal with AS Roma at the end of the season. The Armenia international joined the Giallorossi on a season-long loan from the Gunners in September last year and he has since endured a frustrating campaign hampered by injuries.

Still, he has bagged an impressive tally of six goals and three assists from just 13 league outings for the club and manager Paulo Fonseca has personally said that he would prefer to keep hold of the Armenian next term. Speaking on the Grant Wahl podcast, Mkhitaryan said that he is not clear about his future but he would personally prefer to stay with the Giallorossi on a long-term basis.

He told: "I don't know how long I'm going to stay here. I'm doing my best, I'm training, I'm learning Italian to improve so let's see what's going to happen next. I'm very happy to play this type of football because it makes me feel pleasure, it makes me enjoy playing football. It's the only reason, I guess. Of course, I'd like to be at Roma next season and not just next season, for another few years. I still have a contract with Arsenal, it's not up to me. It's up to Arsenal and Roma if they agree the terms of the transfer fee."

The Gunners were looking for a fee of around £20m to sanction Mkhitaryan’s sale earlier in the year but Roma are unlikely to meet the price, particularly with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It has emerged that they could be willing to pay around £10m at best for the attacker and the north London club may give a serious thought on the offer, given the player’s contract expires at the end of next season. Earlier this year, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta had spoken about the prospect of welcoming Mkhitaryan back to the squad, but that appears unlikely to happen unless he agrees on a new contract with a potential pay-cut.