Manchester United: Who Is Jose Mourinho's Transfer Target Henrikh Mkhitaryan?

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, December 5, 2015. Manchester United is believed to want Mkhitaryan. Oliver Hardt/Getty

Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reported to be the next possible addition to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United squad ahead of the Premier League season.

Mourinho has already strengthened his defense by bringing center-back Eric Bailly from Villarreal earlier in the month for a fee believed to be around £30 million.

But now his attention has turned to the midfield, and Mkhitaryan looks to fit the criteria for what Mourinho wants his United team to look like.

Here, Newsweek takes a closer look at what Mkhitaryan could bring to Manchester.

Who is he?

Born in the Armenian capital Yerevan in 1989, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a 27-year-old midfielder who currently plays in the German Bundesliga for Thomas Tuchel's Borussia Dortmund.

Starting outAfter progressing through the Pyunik academy, Mkhitaryan was given his chance in the Armenian club's first-team at the age of 17. In four seasons with Pyunik, he won the league title four times, earning a move to Russia.

After an impressive year with Metalurh Donetsk, which included scoring 17 goals, Mkhitaryan moved across the city to champions Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010 for a fee reported to be around £7 million ($10 million).

Over the next three years, the versatile midfielder became a prominent figure in the Shakhtar team, winning the league and cup in each campaign.

In 2012, Mkhitaryan featured in the Champions League for Shakhtar, where he was part of a team that beat Chelsea 2-1 in group E but was knocked out in the last 16 by Borussia Dortmund.

Germany switch

Mkhitaryan's outstanding form had caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, but he moved instead to Dortmund for a fee said to be £24.4 million ($35.8 million).

In his three years at the Westfalenstadion, Mkhitaryan's only trophy came in 2014 as Dortmund beat Bayern Munich in the German Cup, which included the Armenian scoring the first goal of a 2-0 win.

Mkhitaryan has shone individually for Dortmund, especially since the arrival of Tuchel as first-team manager in 2015. The possession-style football suited Mkhitaryan, who was voted players' player of the year at the end of the season and was the assist leader in the Bundesliga.

Who's at risk?

Mkhitaryan's versatility means Mourinho could deploy him either out wide for United or behind the strikers.

Having sold Juan Mata to United from Chelsea in 2014, Mourinho may replace the Spaniard in his starting lineup should Mkhitaryan make the move to Old Trafford.

But the Portuguese manager will be keen to bring back attacking football with width that was so iconic of the Sir Alex Ferguson era in Manchester. Could Mkhitaryan be the answer?


United is already reported to have had a £19.3 million bid rejected by the German club, and will now return with an improved £26 million offer.

Did you know?

The talented midfielder wouldn't find too many difficulties easing into life in Manchester as English is one of five different languages he speaks.