Arsenal lead the race to sign long term Liverpool target, as the player refuses to renew contract

Sankha Ghosh / 02 April 2016
Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel has requested the club hierarchy to tie down Henrikh Mkhitaryan to new contract amid strong interest from Arsenal, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

The Armenian star’s current contract runs out in 2017 and several reports claim the 27-year-old is considering a sensational move to the Emirates.

Liverpool had also been heavily linked with the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk attacker, who has so far scored 20 goals this season.

But Tuchel is keen to keep Mkhitaryan at the Westfalenstadion

“We want to hold on to Mkhitaryan at all costs,” he said recently.

“Miki is a real champion and we want to keep him.

“Things are pretty clear. The ball is in his court now and I am sure he knows what to do with it.

“Talks with all players are ongoing. Everything is in our own hands at the moment.”

Over the past few months, Arsenal set their target on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, making him a potential summer signing. They have even sent scouts to keep an eye on the Dortmund attacking midfielder and have also monitored his recent progress through video clips.

The 27-year-old attacker, who was close to make a switch to Liverpool and also Tottenham Hotspur during his spell at Shakhtar Donetsk, is under contract at Dortmund until the 2017 summer and the Bundesliga side are trying their best to get him to agree to fresh terms.

The Armenia international apparently is torn between renewing at Dortmund – where he arrived back in 2013 from Shakhtar for £23.5m – and a tempting move to the Emirates Stadium. He certainly would have no shortage of other offers from clubs across Europe.

Mkhitaryan came into limelight during Dortmund’s Champions League meetings against Arsenal in the previous two seasons and he has emerged as an outstanding performer in Europe and the Bundesliga, especially this season, when he has netted 20 goals in all competitions.

Fast, technically gifted and clinical, he can operate from any position across the line behind the striker.

Arsene Wenger is all set to lose Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky from his midfield department this summer. All three are out of contract and not expected to be handed new deals, Age and injury problems have caught up with them while there is still uncertainty over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future at the club.

Wenger brought in Mohamed Elneny last January and the highly-rated midfielder has made a positive start but there will be enough room for the Arsenal manager to make further additions in the heart of the park.