Date published: Saturday 31st July 2021 2:06 – Toby Bowles
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has insisted that his “differences and conflicts” with Jose Mourinho are buried in the past.
The pair spent a season and a half together at Manchester United, with Mkhitaryan arriving two months after Mourinho in the summer of 2016.
Their first campaign yielded a Europa League and League Cup double, with the Red Devils finishing 6th in the Premier League, but the Armenian struggled to get along with his manager, with whom his relationship was “complicated”.
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Mourinho would later sanction his departure, sending him to Arsenal as part of the deal to bring Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan, though, struggled to adapt to his new surroundings and is now plying his trade at Roma, where he has racked up 24 goals and 19 assists in 74 appearances.
Mourinho was appointed head coach in May and the arrival of the Portuguese threatened to derail the form of Mkhitaryan, whose contract was set to expire this summer.
However, he has since committed to a one-year extension and has sought to quash rumours that there is still friction between him and Mourinho.
“What happened in Manchester stays there,” he told Corriere Dello Sport.
“We spoke as mature people, we both want to go down the same path, we both want to win something with Roma and that is the only thing that matters this year.”
On the push for silverware this season, he added: “When we play a competition, whatever it is, the goal for me is always to win.
“If we play football it’s one thing, but I always play to win. I’ve never played just for fun.
“Without the trophies at the end of your career, you have nothing left. My team-mates and I want to win to remain in the history of the club ”
Back in March 2020, Mkhitaryan told Yevgeny Savin of the difficulties he encountered with Mourinho at United.
“[My relationship] with Mourinho was the most complicated in my career; he is a winner by nature.
“He wants you to win and you do what he asks you, it is difficult for anyone.
“There were differences and conflicts, but they did not have a big impact on the hard work we did and the three trophies we won.”