It's been in the works for a while, but today it became official. Dortmund have announced that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been sold to Manchester United. Sky Sports report that the deal will go through with United paying BVB a transfer fee of €42 million.
.@HenrikhMkh wechselt zu @ManUtd - mehr dazu hier: https://t.co/AlY9oIAWgE pic.twitter.com/XwtxMBmCdK— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 2, 2016
Mkhitaryan and the club hit an impasse this summer after months of contract negotiations. When his agent Mino Raiola announced that Mkhi wanted to leave Dortmund, England was always going to be his destination. He'd been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal, but it turns out he will be plying his trade at Old Trafford next season.
His move to United certainly comes with a sizable pay raise, but it also comes with a lack of Champions League football. Instead, the Armenian will once again be tearing it up in the Europa League. He also may find that there are a few managerial differences between Thomas Tuchel and Jose Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan is coming off what was easily the best of his three years at BVB. He joined from Shakhtar Donetsk for €27.5 million in 2013, but underwhelmed in his first couple seasons. Last season he had 11 goals in the Bundesliga and 19 in all competitions. Mkhi was so good that he was named the Bundesliga Players' Player of the Season.
It's tough to replace a player of his quality, but Dortmund's transfer activity thus far leads one to believe that they knew this was coming. New signings Emre Mor and Ousmane Dembele can slot right in for Mkhi on the right side of the attack, and who knows what the rest of the summer will bring in terms of other arrivals. And there's also returning loanee Jakub Blaszczykowski, who already has two goals for Poland at Euro 2016.
Henrikh will be missed at the Westfalenstadion, but this move isn't a bad one for Dortmund. Mkhi clearly wanted to be elsewhere, and we did actually manage to make a bit of a profit on him. €42 million really isn't a bad fee for a 27-year-old.
We'll always have the memories of just how good he was during this campaign, and just how crucial a part he was of BVB's return to the top of the Bundesliga table. His winner against Hannover in February will always be a great reminder of just how good Dortmund Mkhi was at his best.
Players come and go, but the show at Dortmund always goes on. He's not moving to Bayern Munich, so we can thank Mkhitaryan and wish him the best in Manchester.