Manchester United transfer news: Borussia Dortmund CEO brands Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s £26m move 'quite strange'

Mkhitaryan joined United for £26m this summer to link-up with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford

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The Independent Football

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke says Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to leave for Manchester United was “quite strange” and ruled out a move to try and get him back.

Mkhitaryan joined United for £26m this summer to link-up with Jose Mourinho, being joined by Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, but has featured sparingly under the Portuguese boss.

The 27-year-old has started just once – against Manchester City – but was substituted at half-time by Mourinho in an act interpreted by many as an expression of his unhappiness with his new signing’s work-rate since joining from Dortmund. 

Reports in Germany have suggested Mkhitaryan’s former club, where he assisted 26 goals in 28 league starts last term, are considering an audacious offer to take him back and rescue him from his Old Trafford exile.  

Watzke, however, told local media: “No. 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.”

The Dortmund CEO also branded Mino Raiola, the midfielder’s agent, a “brute” but insisted the decision to leave the Bundesliga outfit lies entirely with Mkhitaryan and not outside influences. 

“In Mkhitaryan's case it was the player's decision,” he added. “Raiola is intelligent, and he's a brute. He has a certain business model, but we knew that already when we sat down because of Mkhitaryan. You know what you have with him. Raiola acted correctly.”