‘What happened in Manchester stays there’: Roma’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he patched up his relationship with Jose Mourinho after the pair clashed at Old Trafford with an Armenian who agreed a new contract after speaking with the manager
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan this month agreed to a one-year contract extension at Roma
- It came after he had longstanding disputes with new Roma boss Jose Mourinho . had solved
- The pair clashed several times when they were together at Manchester United
- At one point, Mourinho blamed the Armenian for negative press coverage
- But Mkhitaryan insists everything is a thing of the past after he decided to stay with Roma
Roma’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he buried the hatchet with Jose Mourinho after friction between the pair at Manchester United.
The Armenian attacking midfielder has spoken at Old Trafford of “differences and conflicts” between himself and the Portuguese manager.
But as Roma prepare for a shot at the Serie A title in the coming season, Mkhitaryan, who has decided to stay with the club despite several offers, insists that everything is a thing of the past.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he now gets along with Jose Mourinho at Roma, after the pair clashed several times while together at Manchester United
The Armenian played under Mourinho for 18 months when he was with the Old Trafford club
He told Corriere dello Sport“What happened in Manchester stays there. We spoke as adults, we both want to go the same way, we both want to win something with Roma and that’s all that matters this year.’
Roma finished seventh in Serie A last season, good enough to qualify for the new UEFA Europa Conference League, and coach Paulo Fonseca left and was replaced by Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan, 32, agreed a one-year contract extension early this month following his talk with Mourinho. He enjoyed a successful 2020-21 season, scoring 15 goals and providing 13 assists.
‘I had no doubts. But I wanted to have a fresh mind to make the best decision. I had other offers, in Italy and abroad, but the right decision was to stay,” he added.
Mourinho took over the role of Roma manager earlier this summer and is preparing for the season
Mkhitaryan, who played under Mourinho for a season and a half at Old Trafford before moving to Arsenal as part of the deal for Alexis Sanchez, has made no secret of past problems with Mourinho.
‘[My relationship] with Mourinho was the most complicated in my career; he is naturally a winner’ he told Yevgeny Savin in March 2020.
“He wants you to win and you do what he asks of you, it’s hard for everyone.
“There were differences and conflicts, but they didn’t affect the hard work we did and the three trophies we won.”
Mkhitaryan and Mourinho didn’t have the best relationship at Old Trafford
The Armenia international also revealed Mourinho’s brash side, insisting his alleged poor form was to blame for media pressure on the Portuguese.
“Once Mourinho saw me at breakfast and said to me: ‘Because of you, the press is criticizing me,’ he added. ‘ I replied, ‘Really, sir? I’m not doing it on purpose.”
The animosity between the pair first started in November 2017, when Mourinho benched Mkhitaryan, saying: “I was not happy with his last performances.
Armenia international Mkhitaryan finally left United for Arsenal in January 2018
Mkhitaryan was involved in a barter deal with Alexis Sanchez (left) at the end of the window
“I’m not talking about one or two, I’m talking about three, four or five. He started the season very well and then he disappeared step by step.
“His performance levels in goalscoring and assists, pressure, recovering the ball high up the field and bringing the team with him as No. 10 declined.
‘That was enough’ [to drop him] because the others were working to stand a chance. Everyone works for a chance. It’s that simple.’