Club CEO Reveals Star “player’s decision” to Join Man Utd
Borussia Dortmund would not be open to re-signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the future, according to CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze have returned to Dortmund in recent years, but when asked by kicker whether there would be potential for Mkhitaryan to return in the future, Watzke replied: “No.”
He added: “Any intelligent player should consider in advance what kind of environment they are moving to. When you are playing in surroundings where things are working for you, like in Dortmund, then it is quite strange to give that away again once things have finally started to work out for you after a long time settling in.”
In the summer, Dortmund also sold Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester City.
“We need to cope with losing two world class players in Hummels and Gundogan and also Mkhitaryan,” Watzke said.
Mkhitaryan left Dortmund for Manchester United this summer following a season in which he scored 23 goals in all competitions and set up a further 32, but his departure caught the club by surprise, with a contract renewal expected to be agreed.
During the months leading up to his transfer, parts of the media claimed that Mino Raiola, his agent, persuaded the 27-year-old to leave Dortmund, but Watzke defended the agent.
He said: “In Mkhitaryan’s case it was the player’s decision. Raiola is intelligent, and he’s a brute. He has a certain business model, but we knew that already when we sat down because of Mkhitaryan. You know what you have with him. Raiola acted correctly.”
The Armenia international was not the only Raiola client to join United this summer, with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also now plying their trade at Old Trafford, but Watzke refused to comment when asked whether Mkhitaryan only was an “extra” in those deals.
The Dortmund CEO also commented on the new financial possibilities in Premier League following the new multi-billion TV deal.
“The more money you have the less creative you become,” he said, and added the Bundesliga still has several advantages over England’s top flight.
“We’ve got a way better atmosphere inside our stadiums, significantly cheaper ticket prices and the national team is better a thousand times,” he said.