Henrikh Mkhitaryan has claimed that he would be open to returning to Arsenal this summer, but would prefer to join Roma on a permanent deal.
The all-time Armenian international goalscorer joined the Giallorossi last summer on loan, and has become an integral part of the first-team.
Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, his club were expected to follow up the loan with a permanent move, but clubs finances have taken a hit over the last few months, and the Express recently claimed that Arsenal may have to extend the 31 year-old’s current contract.
It remains to be seen whether the clubs will be able to agree terms, albeit over another loan deal or a permanent sale, but the midfielder has reiterated his desire to stay in the Italian capital.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to stay here,” he told Grant Wahl. “I like Rome as a city and AS Roma as a club, I wish I could stay here longer but it’s not up to me.
“I’m doing my best, I’m training, I’m learning Italian to improve so let’s see what’s going to happen next. The club and the philosophy of the manager suits me. 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.
“My thinking is to play hard, to train hard and to look forward. If I’m not going to stay at Roma and have to go back to Arsenal, I’m not complaining. Football life changes so quick, you have to be ready to play wherever you are. If not in Roma, I’ll go back to Arsenal. If not that, I’ll stay here and play for Roma.”
Could Mkhitaryan flourish back at Arsenal under the guise of Mikel Arteta? Will the club lower their transfer expectation in order to allow Mkhi to stay in Italy?