On Friday morning we published an article which started off with: ‘German newspaper Bild are becoming quite fond of the Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester United rumour. Not only does it give them the chance to talk about that particular possibility, but it also widens the road for other domestic rumours.’
We could do exactly the same on Saturday, as Bild are once again pushing the idea of Mkhitaryan to Manchester United, which is allowing them to run other transfer stories of players going to Borussia Dortmund as replacements. On Friday it was Andre Schurrle, who has been linked to several clubs already this summer.
To be fair to Bild they have something to back Saturday’s claim up. The report states that Dortmund want Karim Bellarabi from Bayer Leverkusen, and Bild have spoken to the club.
Bayer’s sport director Rudi Voller (yes, the same Rudi Voller) is quoted as saying: “There was an official request from Dortmund a few days ago. From us it was instantly rejected. Selling Karim is not a topic to approach for us. He definitely remains. Bellarabi is not for sale.”
Is Voller simply posturing? Well, he said the same on Schurrle when Chelsea wanted to buy him and the German international had to wait for another transfer window to get his move. Bayer and Voller stood firm, even when at times their stance looked almost cruel and career stalling.
Back to Manchester United and Micki, Bild say the chase of Schurrle and Bellarabi is all because Dortmund are ‘preparing for the sale of Mkhitaryan to Manchester United for €40m’.
Bild’s claim of Manchester United’s latest €36m bid is something they picked up from the English media, and admitted to doing so, but the €40m claim is from them.
If it wasn’t for agent Mino Raiola’s comments about Mkhitaryan wanting a Manchester United move and insinuating he’d try and force one, we’d be taking the entire story with a pinch of salt, because it seems to be assumption after assumption.
Raiola’s comments and Voller confirming Bellarabi interest may change that, but the Bayer Leverkusen player may not be a like for like replacement. The more fitting replacement could be Mario Gotze, who has been linked with a return to Dortmund for many months.
Bild keep pushing the idea of an impending Manchester United transfer for Mkhitaryan, which suits them very much indeed.