Paper Round: Henrikh Mkhitaryan holding out on Alexis Sanchez swap
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is said to be calling the shots in an elaborate deal to see Manchester United sign Alexis Sanchez. It's Wednesday's Paper Round.
Mkhitaryan holds Arsenal to ransom
As Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan becomes linked to an elaborate trade-off between his club and Arsenal for Alexis Sanchez, the plot is rumoured to have thickened. It is reported that Sanchez has agreed personal terms with United, but that no deal will take place unless Mkhitaryan is part of it. The 28-year-old Armenian will only agree to move if he is given a pay rise from his current £150,000 per week at United.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal had previously hoped to sign Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund before United got in there first, back in 2016, so it makes sense that they would consider him again now. Perhaps you would feel a little hard done by to lose Sanchez and gain Mkhitaryan. Though he may be in a better position to shine under a different manager to Jose Mourinho, with whom he is rumoured to have a fractious relationship.
Mou years at United
Jose Mourinho is reportedly close to agreeing a contract extension with Manchester United. The Special One is currently committed to the club until June 2019, though his representatives are said to be engaged in discussions that would see him at Old Trafford for a longer period of time – up to 2021, according to reports.
Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch as half-time during the English FA Cup third round football match between Manchester United and Derby County at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 5, 201Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: If Mourinho’s past form is anything to go by, any extension to a three-year contract would be a waste of ink and indeed money. The cracks are already beginning to show in his tenure, with Premier League glory in his second season at the club now highly unlikely, and suggestions of animosity between the 54-year-old and the board over signings.
Chelsea look to make Carroll permanent fixture
West Ham United's Scottish manager David Moyes (L) talks to West Ham United's English striker Andy Carroll during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Leicester City at The London StadiumGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Carroll doesn’t seem the obvious choice for Chelsea, not least because he’s only made 12 league appearances for West Ham this season. It should be worrying for the current Premier League title-holders if they are unable to attract a bigger name, even in the January transfer window.
Walcott set for Everton switch
After weeks of speculation, Theo Walcott looks set to make the move from Arsenal to Everton as he was spotted arriving at the club for a medical on Tuesday evening. According to reports, despite being originally valued at around £30 million by Arsenal, 28-year-old Walcott is now more likely to go for around £10m less than that.
Paper Round’s view: Makes sense to all concerned – Everton need a striker, Walcott needs minutes on the pitch ahead of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad selection, and he’s certainly been lacking those in north London. Nonetheless, we can’t help but feel sad for Arsenal about losing their longest-serving current player – a seemingly damning indictment on the club.